On Neil Peart
As a musician, one of my life-goals is to figure out how to create an equivalent of Ayn Rand's Romantic Realism in the realm of music. The first attempt at doing so, to the best of my knowledge, came from an amazing band called Rush.
They used technical and theoretical prowess in music to represent intense, powerful and beautiful feelings. That music was coupled with lyrics that, although not particularly realistic, painted Man as a hero, capable of greatness in a benevolent universe - even their dystopias where man-made, and fought by great men.
That greatness was not an accident, but the result of Neil Peart's design. His natural talent, coupled with a rational understanding of music and heroic discipline, made Neil's movements so precise, he had to undergo specific training to sound "human" again - consciously introducing little variations in his hits so that he didn't sound like a drum machine. An Objectivist himself, Neil credited Rand's Anthem as the inspiration for the album 2112, earning the band the irrational branding of "extreme right-wing" - way before that became the common, harmless accusation it is now.
Neil died this week, after years of fighting an agressive brain cancer, yet his music will live on for a long time. If you know the band, take this chance give 2112 another listen.
If you don't, you're welcome.
- January 11th, 2020