In 2016, NASA and Apple Music co-produced a video on Juno’s mission to Jupiter. It examines how both scientists and musicians are, at their core, explorers. No matter our discipline, we're all striking out to uncover truth.
Music is ultimately just waves. Paul Halpern, writing for PBS, explains how this makes it a kind of universal language: "Just as mathematical patterns underlie the musical scales and intervals most pleasing to the ear, they also describe the probability waves at the heart of quantum theory."
As the video above points out, Juno's communications back to Earth are also comprised of waves, which means the spacecraft is essentially singing back to us. Its cosmic song tells us how it's doing and where it's going.
As we move through space and time, we leave a wake of waves behind us too.
Life isn't a ladder to climb or something to achieve. It's a song we're meant to play along the way. We find others to harmonize with throughout our journey, and after we die, our presence continues to reverberate.
In season 1, episode 10 of The Bicameral Mind, Robert Ford says, “An old friend once told me something that gave me great comfort. Something he had read. He said that Mozart, Beethoven, and Chopin never died. They simply became music.”
Even if you're not a composer, your life echoes through the universe.
Let's turn up the volume together.
See also: Borrowed Stardust