Remarks given at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Nov.15.1992, before a performance of Symphony No.3.
I want to give a few thoughts on the roots of music and its purpose in human life.
Music comes supposedly from the human heart and mind. These are but two of the vibratory receiving centers of the human organism. The human organism comes from Planet Earth. We say “from dust to dust.” Each body is built from the elements of Earth and is continually recycling elements from the Earth. We eat food every day. To what end? So that we have “energy”. To what end? To have feelings and ideas, to make music, and to make many other things.
Bodies are fluid, recycling every seven years, so that each of us experiences a continual interaction with Mother Earth. The source of music then, would seem to be the Earth. We come from the Earth; if we are intelligent and spiritual, then the Earth is intelligent and spiritual, and by extension, the universe is intelligent and spiritual. If the Earth is the seed, then all that we see around us is the flowering and unfolding of that seed. And all of it is in continuous, fluid, interactive motion.
Music is one voice of the Earth, and by extension, one voice of the universe. That voice rises up through this wonderful human body – a body made of cells, cells made of molecules, molecules made of atoms, atoms made of neutrons, protons, electrons, electrons made of…pure energy. As you look closer and closer, matter literally disappears. It disappears into profound emptiness and silence, the “nothingness” which is not nothing, and out of which the universe has blossomed. This silence is the source of the music.
So, what happens is this: Your “nothingness” receives my “nothingness”; the medium of transmission is vibrations in the air. Why do we make music? So that the power of the creative power of the universe can rise up through us out of the “nothing.” The experience opens us so that we can listen to the voice of silence in ourselves, and be moved by it in the unfolding of our lives.