Remarks given before a performance of Montana Music: Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano.
Music is specifically healing. I know that I am alive today, and essentially well, because of it. Healing through music is not always miraculous in the instantaneous sense, although a powerful musical experience can change a life in an instant. I have experienced this myself, and seen it happen to others. Music’s healing power is most often a life-long process, which is finally no less miraculous!
I have thought for many years about the nature of what we call inspiration – what it is, and how it enters the conscious mind. In my early years I would have the sensation of music “breaking through” my conscious mind, the sensation of the conscious mind with all its troubles and fixations parting, and letting in something from somewhere else, a powerful something which had nothing to do with my personal troubles. After receiving this force, the “normal” mind would close in again. But once one has had this experience, there is an eagerness to explore it and find it again. And through this experience comes the recognition that one has touched an amazing source, a fundamental source, of life and power. I know now that the function of the conscious mind is to attune itself to this deeper source, to be the channel for the power to come through. That need has driven this lifetime of mine, and has prompted me again and again toward health, toward finding ways to clear the conscious mind of its difficulties so that I can be a more direct channel, toward solving the health issues of this physical body so that I can continue as long as possible to have a chance to receive this power. The larger underlying thought is the life of service – being open to the source, so that what comes through can be of benefit to others.
I don’t know what the source of Montana Music is. I have identified it as the voice of the earth here in western Montana, but finally I make no claims for what it is, and what the message of the music might mean. I can say only what it feels like to me. My sense is that the earth is energetic and has mind, and that the earth can speak – not in words, but in impulses that push me to pay attention. It is possible to feel the force of the earth’s speaking, and to shape it as musical vibration. In the case of Montana Music it is not a nice thing. It is a stern and upsetting thing which feels like a cry for recognition and attention. The land is hurt and requires healing. And the answer is not clear. The music does not give the answer, but only an impulse for thought, feeling, and eventually a creative and healing response.