The movie The Matrix featured an electronic music soundtrack and one of the most famous musical selections from that soundtrack was derived from a classical composition by the British composer Edward Elgar.
The original single, or more specifically the famous Kurayamino Mix, of “Clubbed to Death written by Australian composer Rob Dougan sampled a symphonic recording of Edward Elgar’s first Enigma Variation for the introduction. The Enigma Variations is an orchestral work work composed in 1898 and 1899. Rob Dougan, on the other hand, has been known for his genre-blending dance music which, at times, incorporated classical compositions. Today Dougan owns and operates a vineyard in southern France.
The theme from Elgar’s Enigma Variations is transformed into pulsating electronic rhythm inter-spliced with Rob Dougan’s performance of his own composition on solo piano. Edward Elgar wrote 14 Enigma variations but Rob Dougan’s Matrix rave scene hit single is effectively the 15th variation that Elgar never wrote.
The Matrix 1996
Orwell’s 1984 may be the ultimate dystopian book just like The Matrix may be the ultimate dystopian film. The similarities are numerous including a diabolical form of societal domination through thought control, through the selective presentation of information and through strict surveillance. In the Matrix, the world’s inhabitants have become so deluded that their neural hologram—their cerebral conception of the world—bears little or no resemblance to objective reality outside their cranial confines. For many in the 9/11 truth movement, the movie Matrix has become metaphor for the powerful illusion the movement seeks to expose.
The Matrix, a ballet of bullets choreographed to a script packed with deep symbolic and philosophical themes—was pitched by the wannabe filmmakers as a cyberpunk comic book. In the end the blockbuster inspired a small avalanche of analysis including an Oxford Press publication: Philosophers Explore the Matrix. If the magic lantern was the forerunner to the cinema, then a shadow play was the forerunner to the magic lantern show. Beneath the S & M black costumes, and the The Matrix’s streams of green computer code raining down the screen lies Plato’s famous allegory of shadow plays in a cave.
In Plato’s allegory prisoners are bound and immobilized allowing them only to see a wall with their backs to the world outside their cave. A fire from behind the bound prisoners throws shadows on the wall they are facing, some manipulated and some random, and that moving shadow play—the illusion—defines these prisoner’s conception of reality.
As Plato’s story progresses, we learn something else: The prisoners prefer the comfortable illusion from shadow plays over the, often painful, challenge required to understand the “outside the cave” world of objective reality.
There are approximately 300 billion stars in the Milky Way but there are 100 trillion synapses in a human brain. The synapse is the point of communication between brain cells where important functions occur. The synapse, the “spark plug” like gap between neurons, is where the neurological potential for illusions arise. This gap, where electrical-chemical impulses travel—is the connection which constitutes the entire focus of modern psychiatry.
In Plato’s way of thinking, what we can see is simply an illusion—but wisdom is devised from the painful realization that everything we think we know is false. Our brain constructs a synaptic conception of a surrogate reality. Our capacity for delusion is as endless as stars in the sky or the synapses in our brains.
The Matrix can sustain a carefully orchestrated mass hallucination so powerful, it can bring nations to war. It is a place where a burning building can look like a professional demolition, a perpetrator can act like a victim, where the laws of physics don’t matter and a vicious “War on Terror” can be sustained by a mountain of lies unto the blazing, bloody, horizon.
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