Sunday, March 1, 2009

From the Archives

From a journal entry in the old Red Book, October 25th, 2004:

I have been living in Russia for two weeks, in St. Petersburg...[one day] we were walking along the [canal] Reki Moiki, with all of the beautiful buildings, doing our work on the way to serve in the Hermitage [Museum]. Suddenly, there it was - one of those rare moments when pure, inspired music is given, straight in the soul. We walked along for a few moments, and I simply enjoyed the view. It didn't take long, however, until I realized there was music going that I hadn't put there, and as soon as I thought that, it fled. I continued to play with the music in my mind, it became a terrible romantic era concerto as we walked into the square in front of the Winter Palace, and into its lofty pillared corridors.

Moments like that are rare, and sweet.

It happens differently sometimes, perhaps I will only have begun playing [in my mind] with a snatch of something I heard somewhere, and it becomes a great musical moment; or when I discover something new to me on the piano as I improvise.

All of these are just little flickers of the eternal essence of music being manifest.

[That mention of the 'essence of music' is a reference to Feruccio Bossini's essay by the same name, much of which resonated with me. Its seems as though Bossini is contending that composers don't create music, but rather capture it from the vast eternal 'essence of music.' So this vintage entry shows how even then (at the tender age of 19!) I was sensing cracks in that veil, little scenes like walking into the Palace Square. Here is another lesson about music and inspiration, recorded in the same journal entry:]

As we waited for dinner to cook today, I sat listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on cassette. I realized after several minutes that my thoughts were looking into a familiar window, and the distinct thought came something like this, "Well, now that I'm here I can expect some Inspired thoughts to come." Then I realized, that was it! I'd received those inspirations before but never recognized what it was that had brought them on - Inspired music! It is a spiritual thing, in perhaps a way in which only truly inspired music can bring.

In what ways have you felt the inspiration of music?

3 comments:

Qait said...

Although it probably doesn't happen the same way for all composers, this way you speak of seems the best to me. You have a gift for composing, and because you make the effort to access it, you're granted with revelations of music--specifically for you.

Megan said...

I remember going to a concert with Thomas a few weeks ago and it was a wonderful concert, of course, but the song they did second-to-last was just amazing. It wasn't the standing-ovation crowd pleaser type song, but it struck a chord with the audience, and it touched something inside me that I hadn't felt in a long, long time since being "out" of the world of music. I miss it!

Eric Hanson said...

Awesome - since I'm reading this backwards I didn't see that you referred to Bossini's essay until now, but that's exactly what I referring to when I wrote my comment on your most recent post. Michelangelo, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Plato - they all talked about that "Will", "Ideal", or great source of energy that we can all tap in to. Great experience :)