For the last few months I have purposely removed myself from music (in performance and composition) in order to reflect on WHY I do what I do as a person. In this time of reflection I have gone back to read about the lives of some great people. Among these people are Frederick Douglas, Thomas Jefferson, Bonhoeffer, Nathanael Greene....the list goes on. In reflecting on these people, I have found that all of them were able to accomplish great things because they invested in something (someone) that was beyond them. They were willing to become beacons of hope for the people around them. In order to do this they had to be connected to a source that gave them the propensity to behave in a manner that was not fueled by emotion and passion alone. This source must be immutable and incorrigible in nature. The common thread that I found in these people was the redemptive work of the cross. Yeah...I went there!
This is what I found common in all of the people I just referenced. They did not all find it in the same way, but they all came together at the cross of Jesus Christ. At this time you are probably checking your url to see if you have reached the right page....you have. So what does this have to do with music?
I honestly must admit that I don't know if music will be my career in the future. That is something I am still waiting to see. However, I found that when I was able to let go of my "career" in music, my music became free. I often hear many musicians, especially composers, talk about how they want there music to be free of the confinements set on it by society and so on and so on. The question that I have always asked (in my head) is; why? Why do you want to write music that no one understands and if you have a good reason, then why don't you? I believe the reason that many composers of this day and age continue to grasp with this struggle is that they mistakenly believe that there is an acceptable solemnity in music. Music has become the why; music has become the god for some. I have seen this view-point (in some instances) almost completely strip people of there common decency and basic social skills. One's profession should not be allowed to consume them entirely. I would like to share a quote from Timothy Titcomb that expresses this point:
"...a man's trade or profession should be kept at arm's length. It should not be allowed to tyrannize over him, to mould him, to crush him. It should not occupy the whole of his attention."
When I was able to apply this idea into my everyday life, the ideas began to flow; it no longer had control over my life. Music had become my partner instead of my master.