Subject: Re: Science, Knowledge, Understanding, Art and Wonder
From: Michael Rhoades (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sat Sep 10 2005 - 11:00:37 EDT
This is an interesting Thread. As always, what follows is only my humble
perspective on it...
On a warm spring day, late in the afternoon, the clouds are dark and thick
to the east; a gentle, rumbling storm has just rolled through. The air is
clean and fresh and to the west the golden sun has been revealed by a
brilliant blue break in the sky. In the east, a magnificent rainbow appears.
It glows across the valley ranging in color from red to orange to yellow to
green to blue to indigo to violet. Its arc, in the shape of the sun, is
standing on both extremes of the horizon. The world is suddenly quiet. In
this moment no explanation is necessary, in fact any thought would be a
distraction from the beauty and peace being experienced.
The understanding of beauty does not destroy the wonder of it, the workings
of the universe are a marvel to behold. However, in allowing the explanation
to become the master of our experience we have constrained ourselves to
living and experiencing only the past. First, we see the rainbow, then we
process it... putting our perception of it out of sync with "now".
Diminishing the beauty of "now".
It is the same when creating or performing or experiencing a work of art. I
love to ponder an interview many years ago with a famous violinist, I forget
who it was. The interviewer was asking about technique and performance. The
violinist responded that he practiced and refined his technique for years
and years for many hours each day. However he had learned that when he
walked out onto the stage it was necessary to forget all he had learned and
just play music.
The preliminary work for my compositions involves many hours of research and
preparation. Many are based upon often complex (and beautiful) mathematical
and scientific paradigms. However, when actually working directly on the
composition all that becomes secondary and I am intensely focused upon how
the music sounds, and upon finding and moving it into that "zone of
rightness". The world is suddenly quiet. In this moment no explanation is
necessary, in fact any thought would be a distraction from the beauty and
peace being experienced.
> Why do poets and artists so often disparage science in their work?
> At a meeting of romantic poets in 1817, Keats suggested that Newton
> had destroyed the wonder of the rainbow by explaining how it came
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