COGITO – Bass and Keyboard Improvisation | AsteriskedMusic.Com

Cogito

Cogito is an improvisation for bass and keyboard. It was inspired by the Meditations on First Philosophy by Rene Descartes. This work, for all intents and purposes, represents the very birth of the modern mind. In fact, what Descartes actually went through in order to produce this work was really a rebirth of the mind. In the book, he describes a deeply spiritual personal struggle to really come to grips with what he actually knows, separating genuine knowledge from mere belief.

Consequently, this work explores all sorts of really deep things. Among the things he struggles with are the nature of God, the nature of being, the nature of the human soul and body, as well as many others. Finally, he arrives at the idea that one can only know two things independently from anything else; these are that God exists, and that He is truthful, and that the thinker himself must exist because that must be the case in order for him to even ponder the question. Finally, from this point, he is slowly able to come to grips with the rest of existence.

 

Some Notes on Cogito

"Face Soul Head, by Geralt, taken from [PixaBay.Com]; this image is released under Creative Commons license CC0 and is not copyrighted. This is a fitting image of Cogito.
“Face Soul Head, by Geralt, taken from [PixaBay.Com]; this image is released under Creative Commons license CC0 and is not copyrighted.
In the Meditations, Descartes comes to the conclusion that there are two sorts of things: Res Cogitans, and Res Extensa. Res Cogitans is the mind, and Res Extensa is the physical world. Thus, he divides existence into two parts: the world of the soul, and the world of matter. The body, by this view, is that part of Res Extensa that connects to Res Cogitans; the machine or ship of the soul.

In this piece, the keyboard is the rich, inner, mental world. The bass is the outer body. The two interact and act in coordination, but they do not follow the same rules. The piece centers around C. Much of it is in C Major, but the keyboard explores atonality and sound clusters, as well as octatonic modes at times, whereas the bass is mostly in a blues modality.

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