Contemplation on Integrated Life Art
In thinking about old, new and current, the word current sticks out to me. Current in the context of old and new can mean, what is presently the case or state of affairs now.
What is the now? Is there any influence of the past in the now? Most likely that would be easier to trace than any influence of the future in the now. Can we detect future? Well, we can look at trends and see where things could be headed right? People can make a lot of money by being good at sizing up the economic trends and making decisions about their investments. Well, do we as humans (and musicians of course), see the trends and try to make decisions about our lives and/or careers based on what seems to be a trend? I think so! You can see the cases in history where people made very important life-saving decisions based on trends and predicting where these trends were going. This is happening in various ways as musicians feel the 'winds of change' in certain ways with what were 'traditional' musical careers in an orchestra, freelancing, and teaching. Many schools have programs to help musicians have a chance at creating their own career in music. It is important to note that people have been doing this for a long time but it is getting more now, especially with the numbers of people taking auditions and/or being at an advanced level of playing so the competition is greater now for certain jobs.
The state of now is actually not stagnant. It is a current that moves with the multi-inter-connected-rhythms of everything within everything, with different forces having greater power and others forces being in the background whilst others are latent but not totally inactive and still having an influence and other forces being inactive waiting to be activated if conditions were to change making it more favorable for them to activate.
It is also held that the the past would be known and the present would be known even though there is an element of the known unknown, the future being unknown mostly but also made up of known unknown aspects as well. (For example, we know tomorrow (future) will come (known) but we do not totally know how it will unfold, (known unknown).
All of this can be seen in a musical example. If we are playing a familiar piece (known), we can't always predict how it will go (known unknown). If we are playing a piece, isn't that a great example of past, present, future all happening as one? Because as soon as you start to play, present becomes past, then present quickly becomes future leaving a trail of the past! Hold out a long tone and focus on the now. If you are playing this long tone to a metronome, then it will be really easy to measure past, present, future and the beginning, middle and end of the note but the metronome is clicking beats that move from current to future leaving them all in the past! This is life. It is happening all of the time. Maybe there is a lot of significance to the phrase, go with the flow. Or better said, Go with the flow when connected to the essence.
Do we need to know all that? No of course not. But the marvel of the universe, life itself, is in everything that we do. When we are really connected to the music we are playing there is a oneness where we feel the beginning, middle and end or past, present and future as one thing. We are in it, unaware of small scale time, but at the same time we are in the movement of the spirit of the piece where we ourselves are a player. This happens when the connection is strong enough to get our ego be out of the way. Then we and the music are one. No divisions really exist at that point. It is a current, a flowing continuum of oneness.