During these moments I feel vulnerable yet strong, verbose yet mute, joyous yet hopeless. It is a joy that creates a deep pain in me that demands resolution.
Perhaps this is why I am a composer: I must recreate these feelings for others to experience... No. That's not it at all. To be brutally honest, I must recreate these feelings so that I will remember that I felt them and that I can feel them again, like a photo op at Disneyland: "I was there!" Also, I need to reach out to other creatures like myself who will assure me that I am not alone. That there are others of my kind out there.
Being a composer is like living on acid (LSD) and forgetting that you took it.
I'm trying, for the first time ever, to express this in words -- unsentimentally -- while I feel it. I'm listening to Mendelssohn on Radio Stephansplatz -- a piece I've never heard before. (Of course, by the time this entry is completed, the piece will be long since over. This is the magic of music!)
The heart of a composer is a deep and hidden place and even those who feel they know us best really know very little (you only know what we reveal to you), for there is so much we cannot share, so much that renders us mute. These feelings can only be expressed through music; anyone expecting romance with pretty sentiments will soon be disappointed and that is why so many relationships between musicians and non-musicians fail so quickly. Music appeals to the romantic, but the composer, in actuality, is anything but. We save our best urges for Music. Music takes us to a place where words mean nothing at all, where speaking itself is a sacrilege and the mundane world is but a dark and tawdry impersonation of the truth, like being born with The Red Pill inserted in both the conscious and unconscious minds.
It hurts, this music. It hurts so damned good and it has made my life both a blessing and a curse. But would I have it excised if that were possible? Never! Musicians are the supreme masochists because we live in a world we do not understand yet are pressed to share. I mean, what is music, anyway? It is not merely blobs of ink on paper. Although the transference of music from mind to manifest is achieved via mathematics, that's only the physical language of music, like English, or French, or German. One can speak Spanish and not be a poet. It is the something else that makes music the spiritual experience that it is. No wonder I love quantum-physics and endeavor to understand the universe, although it's presently impossible to do so fully. If you really think about it, no one really knows what the hell music is. Unlike the visual arts, one can only know it through the passage of time. That's how a piece of music differs from a painting.
"A painter paints a painting and it's a painting. Maybe it hangs in a museum somewhere, or maybe somebody buys it. But no one ever said to van Gogh, 'Paint another "Starry Night" again, man.'" (Joni Mitchell, painter/songwriter, in concert, when asked for an encore.)And does a painting transport the viewer to the same rapture or pain that a piece of music does? I'm not pitting the two against each other -- I love both -- but there is a decided difference that we all feel but cannot adequately explain; we simply feel it.
And there is no neat little conclusion to this entry. No red bow tying it up. That's it, really. And now, this peak moment has ended.