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The Limit of a Cat's Mind and the Spooky Magnetism of Anton Webern

1st of January, 2019

This piece was first left as a review on the website I was reviewing Complete Works Opp. 1-31, which is a collection of recordings of Anton Webern's opuses conducted by Pierre Boulez and performed by various artists. The publish date on RYM is the 24th of December, 2016, but I know that isn't right. That's just the date I first rated the release itself on the site. RateYourMusic curiously doesn't seem to keep track of the publication date of reviews separately from the date the musical release in question is first rated, so anything that hasn't had its catalogue date manually bumped to the date of the review publication is going to have an incorrect publication date. This was actually written some time around early 2019, so I have invented New Years Day as its publication date.

My cats seem to have an understanding: They go out the back door and explore the gardens of the neighbourhood, and the humans go out the front. Sometimes when I’m coming or going I see the cats in front of the house, and whenever they spot me they end up paralysed by doubt. It seems that the mind of a cat can’t know that taking three left turns brings them roughly back to where they started. When they do this, and end up in front of the house despite having gone out the back, face to face with what is under any normal situation a physical impossibility (a wild human), their understanding of the world and their place within it seems inadequate. They are not equipped for the spatial complexities of negotiating the gardens and streets.

One of the great challenges in our lives is to try, through the use of a prehistoric natural intuition on these matters, to avoid putting ourselves in situations that by necessity we cannot even identify as dangerous. The spooky magnetism of this kind is very poorly understood, but everyone who has heard this music has felt it.