About the Music

Resurrection-of-Realism_1_About the Music

Although this point may seem irrelevant (speaking above of “erudition”, which has, on occasion, been known to entail academic jealousies and politics), I also think a composer’s personal attitude toward life and toward others is creatively important. A superior or haughty attitude can act like a toxin to shrivel a spirit of open-hearted, childlike wonder. Only with the latter spirit can one hope to compose genuinely moving music. Only with such a spirit can one find beauty rather than empty display in one’s craft, or at other times recognize when utter simplicity would be more powerful than complexity for its own sake. A grateful attitude of humility and kindness, then, may not endear one to the intelligentsia, but it may actually be the sensibility most crucial for a true artist to see the beauty in the world and to convey it to others with imagination and a natural, transcendent voice.

Finally, long before recent concerns about social justice and historical inequities were in the headlines, I had always hoped, in principal, to write music that does speak globally to the human heart across all boundaries and all cultures. Yet, imagine my happy surprise to learn that on the Spotify streaming service alone, people on six continents in over eighty countries have already, of their own choice, been downloading and repeatedly enjoying my last album! And so far, they have done so over a quarter of a million times! I wondered how this could be, when the usual “contemporary classical” album typically enjoys fewer than fifty listeners. I see this as proof that regardless of its origin or heritage, some music can have qualities common to all forms of music that speak across cultural boundaries — tonality, melody, and emotion, to name a few — and these are not contrived qualities, like intentional style hybrids, but natural, universal qualities that already speak to the whole world. They happen to be the very same qualities I have sought to broaden my local audience from the few elite aficionados and effete reviewers sitting in the hall to the great majority (that is, the rest of the audience) sitting in that same hall.

I have always hoped to leave the world, both at home and beyond, a more beautiful place than I found it, and for more than just a few specialists. However, as a humble musician, one asks oneself, what can I possibly do to make the world a better place? I can only imagine that if music can soothe and heal one person, perhaps it can foster peace between two people, and thus “blessed are the peacemakers”. If two enemies discover that they are both listening to the same beautiful music and therefore have something in common, perhaps it will soften their animosity. In any case, words are inadequate to say how humbled I have been to learn that my music is enriching the lives of people all over the world, entirely of their own initiative, and how grateful I am for the affirmation and global endorsement of my work that this represents.






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