No one can make music

All music is already made. Like Einstein’s matter, music is neither created nor destroyed.

So what do musicians do? Delude themselves, at worst. Act as resonating instruments at best.

My analogy is coffee. What does it mean to “make coffee ?” I mean, the coffee beans were already made, there on the tree. Of you pick them, are you making anything? Is roasting the beans the same a making coffee? And isn’t pouring hot water over the roasted and finely grind beans is still only boiling water and grinding beans.

But musicians think that coffee beans are not the same as coffee. Coffee is the beverage humans make, and that beverage is somehow part of a higher manifestation of the thing called coffee.

For years when I studied classical music, I was conscious of trying ever successfully to extract all the information from the composers notations. The written music can be compared to a literary author’a attempt to describe some reality using words. Of course we know that the reality did not happen using words. Words may not have even been a part of it, of the sunset, of the feeling of loneliness, etc. You could say that the written words of an author, even those great words of those great authors, are weak at best at being – not just representing – some moment.

So that’s the key – certain of “the arts” have been devoted to recording and representing. And those arts have gotten wound around themselves to the extent that the “material” – the spiritual substance from which we drink, to see, to play, to perform the story of our wonder – that material is longer recognized as the actual thing, but rather an inspiration for the real thing. Wow. Look at your navel.

When I improvise music , including when I make up vocal harmonies on the fly , in my minds eye, I see the harmonies, in mind’s ear, I hear them, and then I try to guide them into my body and then back out.


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