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Time is the measurement of all motion according to a standard. The truth though is that time measures the movement of the Earth around the Sun and this measurement divided into ever smaller increments becomes seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, and years. Age too makes its impact on our lives as time affects the condition of our bodies in addition to our use and maintenance or lack thereof. But nothing can prevent our age from catching up with us no matter how well we treat our bodies, over time age, bad habits, poor eating, genetic predisposition, and hygiene, will break down the body and stop it from functioning.
The ticktock of time is accentuated in The Rat Race as it impresses the listener with the silent pressure that clocks and schedules provide to working people. Every second is a moment either invested wisely or wasted, never to return, time lost and never regained. Beginning in an appropriate minimalistic style, The Rate Race quickly adds elements that float around the main minimalistic riff. Without a clear tempo, the listener has to rely on the pulse provided by several song elements such as the downbeat on the multitracked guitars and strumming.
Whether we’re overworked, stressed with the kids, or frustrated with other people and our conflicts with them, life is full of friction and can become unbearable by forcing us to adopt the mindset that we’re in a kind of prison of craziness apparently out of our control. The Rat Race tries to represent this chaos of drama by showing this combination of elements in a cloud of sound that goes in different directions and different speeds. Some elements are slow and relaxed, spaced far apart and reappearing at varying intervals of time unpredictably. While other elements are constant, quick moving, and altering their activity in rapid sequences of change.
Change too is a factor that calls our attention to time. Basically, time is the change of objects and people through space, which produces time, and as such The Rat Race demonstrates this with all of its sonic components colliding with one another in chance events occurring in an unplanned manner, you know, just like life. How often does it occur where one of our plans are thwarted or come to fruition in a version we had not foreseen? Change is inevitable and events emerge spontaneously as the motion of time waits for no one.
Another interesting feature of time and change is the development of opportunities. As things remain in motion they sometimes align into a fortuitous series of events that benefit us or those around us. Even unfortunate events oddly enough can sometimes push us into circumstances that are not totally harmful. Even in adversity there is much to be gained, a lesson to be learned, and even if a bad thing happens some good can come of it. Sometimes we can anticipate such moments as when we “feel lucky” or somehow interpret a day as possessing a particularly useful quality where things are working for us and not against us, perhaps, a day filled with good omens or signs leading to a positive result on the order of a “sure thing.”
Every day, these factors of time - the motion and change of objects and people into certain alignments forming opportunities - reveal themselves in unique ways, but only to the observant and sensitive individual. The real world Rat Race is filled with so many obstacles and ways to distract ourselves from achieving fulfillment or happiness that it’s not always possible to change our mode of perception to see what opportunities are developing and being presented before us. If we let the stress of everyday life beat us down until our heads are hung low, we may miss the potential of new possibilities in other directions than we normally travel.
The Rat Race was composed with these concepts and images in mind and as music stresses how we use our time and that our use of time is governed by our freedom of choice. To defeat the real world Rat Race it is up to us to choose a new way of living by pursuing what it is that life has to offer and changing something about ourselves, because after all, the world we see is simply a reflection of ourselves. But if we change ourselves, we can literally change the world we see and live in. Seek a new idea, a new way of thinking, or a new way of being and test what it’s like to live like that. What new things and people have been attracted to or repelled from the “new” you? Interestingly, by changing little parts of ourselves we can remake our image of the world and become born again into a new experience of life and break free of The Rat Race.
The Rat Race