Sublime Inner Life


I believe that music is really the highest form of Beauty among all of the arts, the one that cuts directly to my soul and opens up new inner landscapes of emotion. Maybe because I have put it on such a high pedestal throughout my life it has been extremely difficult for me to finish or compose much music at all (yet). My greatest dream in life was to be a classical composer.

Around the age of 12 or so, while listening to the local classical music station in suburban Detroit, WQRS (now sadly defunct), I heard Gustav Holst's Jupiter and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade. Hearing those pieces for the first time really shattered and devastated me completely (in the nicest, best way one can be shattered and devastated)! Those moments were truly ecstatic, spiritual experiences where at times I felt like I left my body and I would just cry uncontrollably for hours behind the closed door of my bedroom. Never could I have imagined anything so beautiful as those pieces of music! I could have just died then out of sheer joy and happiness and my life would have been completely fulfilled.

Composing music is still something I am fumbling my way into cultivating a methodology; a way that is intuitive, organic, natural, and heartfelt. I really strongly dislike the traditional Western package of music theory and rules, feeling paralyzed by it, as if it leads to a dry, empty fossil, devoid of soul. (I realize that doesn't make a whole lot of sense - if the great pieces I love were composed using that theory. It is just a way that hasn't worked for me after many years of struggle and doesn't speak to me at all.)

But stay tuned. I am working on a way forward. I have one completed piece posted below.

I believe that music is a spiritual language. My everyday self is pretty mundane and boring, but when I'm making music it allows for me to communicate a kind of transcendence that I can't communicate otherwise.

Sufjan Stevens, American Singer-Songwriter (b. 1975)