i don’t know physics, but rusty does.

a little while ago a guy named rusty moved to the pebble and became a part of our band at the church. when he’s not rebuilding vintage guitar amps, rusty is an electrical engineer. yesterday he sent me this email:

“As a nerd, I read a little bit about the latest theories on the fundamental building blocks of nature, time, space, matter, that sort of thing, and was quite interested to find that one of the prevailing theories, superstring theory, centers around the idea that matter is organized mathematically like a string, where each different particle is like a string that vibrates at a given frequency which in turn determines the physical characteristics of every particle. Being only part nerd and more a musician, that was enough to validate what I’ve thought all along. I’ve always thought that by our very nature we were designed to respond to music at a core level. I think thats why music in church is such a powerful way to connect directly to the soul. I believe God designed us that way.”

here’s what i take away from that:
1. rusty has, in fact, demonstrated some nerd-like qualities in this email. but that doesn’t matter because he plays a mean guitar and is currently annihilating me in our ncaa bracket tourney.
2. i love the thought that God may have designed us to respond to music at our core level — that God can set the frequencies (be it a song’s melody, a theme of hope, or an incredible lyric that sneaks up on you later) that cause our souls to vibrate and align ourselves with Him. great words rusty.

“my heart is steadfast, i will sing and make music with all my soul” (psalm 108:1).

musician/nerd or not, how does music align you with God?

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~ by bradherndon on March 25, 2008.

4 Responses to “i don’t know physics, but rusty does.”

  1. Those are awesome words from Rusty. I’m no musician, but I can help but respond in some way to music when I hear it. I guess it’s all part of the Master’s design.

  2. To confirm with Rusty, I’ve never heard of someone who didn’t like music. Isn’t it evidence enough that all cars come standard with radios and cd players now? Apparently everyone wants to listen to good tunes. Music is part of us.
    Discussing frequencies there are things called “natural frequencies” that occur with all matter. Take your neighborhood trampoline. Two people can bounce on the trampoline together with little effect on each other. Now if you hit at the correct time your friend can launch you into the air twice the height of your normal bounce. This only happens at one given frequency (time in between bounces). This has gone as far as destroying bridges by just a gentle breeze. The “narrows” bridge is an example. The wind blew at the natural frequency of the material in the bridge. Rather than just swaying it gently side to side it brought the entire bridge to the ground because it hit at the same natural frequency.
    I think we have these too. A certain frequency can be used by God to bounce us higher than we been but also bring us to out knees. It all depends on what we need at the time.

    Kuddos Rusty.

  3. Aaron has mentioned that theory before! Its came up in our discussion of the sermon last week. Its a pretty interesting, also called the parallel universe theory in layman’s terms. Its about how our universe may be on a unique frequency ( like the frequency given off by plucking the G string on a guitar) and a whole other ull universe may be on a different frequency, running parallel, full speeed, to our universe, living life, like ours, but neither knowing the other is there because we never see or intersect with the other. Like plcking an A and G string, they only harmonize dont intersect, but boht are just as real as the next. Anyway, there are tons of analogies that go with that and i actualy dont remember how it related to the sermon now, but thought it was wierd that we were both thinking through such an odd and mindblowing theory the same week.

  4. What is described by Matthew is the term “resonance” – the frequency that perfectly matches the physical constraints of a given element – often called the “natural frequency”. It is why the shower is such a cool place to sing – every once in a while, you hit that note that sounds much better than all the others – you’ve hit the resonant (or natural) frequency of the bathroom.

    The term fits perfectly with what Rusty talked about – there are special songs, lyrics, melodies, etc. that “resonate” with us at different times. Our lives constantly change and morph into different shapes – therefore changing the characteristics needed for resonance to occur. Being “in tune” with our lives requires an intentional effort of reflection – especially in those moments when something really touches us. Understanding that part of our heart/soul can produce understanding about our own natural frequencies, which can produce better and better life choices.

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