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  • Writer's picturedjSwade

Infinity and the Sideways 8

Infinity is a sideways 8. I remember watching Schoolhouse Rock! cartoons when I was little. One of my favorites was "Figure Eight." At the end of that cartoon, I saw a lone figure skater tracing a figure 8. The angle then changed, revealing a sideways 8, the infinity sign, and another way of looking at things. I know it was just a kid's cartoon, but it was haunting and intriguing to my young mind.

The concept of infinity has a long history, with origins in ancient India and Greece. It started more as a philosophical concept. The math came later. There is a slew of products named after it, even a car (with the minor alteration of an "i" at the end). Infinity pools are all the rage and if you use the keyword "infinity" to look up images, those pools are amply represented. In music, there is something called "infinite expression," which means either allowing music to flow in any direction with no limits (think of Chopin’s A Flat Ballade No.3, Op.47) or going halfway to a musical destination again and again repeatedly. There are many songs named after infinity. Many of them keep it very simple as I have, but there are many variations: "Amori Infiniti," "Infinity Girl," "Blank Infinity," "Take Me to Infinity," and, my personal favorite, "Infinity Guitars." There is a movie called Infinity, starring Matthew Broderick and Patricia Arquette. There are also artists fascinated with infinity, including Yayoi Kusama, a mentee of Georgia O'Keeffe, whose most famous work is Infinity Rooms, and one of my favorites, M.C. Escher, one of the most popular and prolific graphic artists of the 20th century.

Infinity invokes a feeling that something will go on without end. It's nice to hope that the good things in life can do that, even though we know that's impossible. When I was a kid, I wanted my Sunday night bowl of ice cream (with butterscotch, always) to last forever. I started out so optimistic when I took my first taste. At the end, I was always disappointed that my bowl didn't contain an infinite amount of ice cream. I can say that for some of the best things in life: my friends and loved ones, a great song, a really cool conversation, the often fleeting feeling of pure, unadulterated happiness. Alas, nothing lasts forever.

I named my new song "Infinity" because it gave me that feeling when I listened to it, but it contains a paradox. The song doesn't even try to last forever. Instead, it quickly pays homage to the concept, then steps aside in a little over three minutes, knowing it can't deliver. That feels true to life and it's one of the reasons I like the piece. I hope you will too.


You can listen to "Infinity" on Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Music, YouTube Music and other online stores. You can watch the official video for "Infinity" on and YouTube. You can also check out my artist pages on Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Music and YouTube Music, where you can listen to my first album Audiostrata and my singles, including "Celebration of the Fireflies," "Sweet Ride," "Lemon Cello," and "Ascending Acoustic."

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