Thus Sprach the Stompbox
– by Andy Summers
Is tone a musical statement? Is there a philosophy of tone? Did antiquity have a school pre-eminent for its discourse on tone, was there such a thing as toneness? Could a tone be immoral, unethical, hurtful to animalsor arousing of the coarser spirits? Did tone even exist or was it merely a phantasm of the mind?. Did it go unnoticed by Pythagoras as he noted the pitches of anvils being beaten by men in loincloths…? Is the universe reflected in tone? Is tone a mirror of the soul, even on the weekends? Does one sacrifice ones soul on the altar of tone, throw away all ideas of a balanced life in the cruel, sometimes bitter, more often bleak quest for immortality through tone?
Men with vast cathedral like craniums like Nietzsche have argued for an Ubertone, a tone of the godhead while Jean Paul Sarte, lighting another Gaulousie would merely have shrugged and said… “Tone…? Ce ne pas le probleme?”
Kant would have passed the town hall musing that tone was a creation of the mind, whilst Spinoza would have argued that mind and tone are but two attributes of the same substance but then Hegel would have countered that the mind creates and realizes itself in tone. Which ever way a guitarist comes at it tone is a problem to be solved. With tone we create a signature. Tone reinforces our senses of self, our being, our identity. Tone is self reflexive we create it and it creates us.
Thus the arrival of the Philosophers Tone; a small metal box which alchemically transforms electrical current through its ingenious use of transistors, chips and whatever you call those things on the inside, into pure tone. I plug in with joy realizing that with this act I am in the great philosophical continuum and that in fact Descartes was right “I sustain therefore I am”