On a tour with storyteller Paul Middelijn through Ghana, I had this terrible nightmare about guilt. We swallowed Lariam tablets against malaria, and maybe it was because of this, but I never had such an intense dream. It was about standing in an abattoir and very,very, very much realizing what we people are doing to gods other creations. It was about disrespect and cruelty. I will not get into details, but I ended up kneeling down and in a pray I asked: “… Why we are like that ???…” Than I heard this inner voice saying “…because this is not the paradise…”.
After this I felt very relaxed and I realized again that this life we live is about making choices and finding balance. These choices are what life is all about, life is not the final station. If on earth there was no cruelty, then there was no life. If you let the deer live, the lion is going to die. Still we, human beings, have this strong feeling of love inside of us. Is this weakness ???
Although I know that all the answers are in the Holy bible and in the other books of great religions, I cannot help but keep on thinking about these matters. This is also because music can influence people a lot, and I think as a musician you have certain responsibilities about the mood you bring your listeners in. When I was studying my teacher of composition often said “…composition is just knowledge of theory and hard work … Forget about things like inspiration and all of that !!!…”. As a young boy with great respect for this teacher I would not even think about going into discussion with my master, but I had my doubts, and now I am very sure that Inspiration is a very important part of composing.
The same for improvising, because I see that as instant composing. Sometimes I find it more interesting to watch a musician struggling with his instrument to get the message through .
Rather than watching him perform the right scales with a very correct intonation, etc… , just playing for the applause.
Its about the message!!! Of course that does not mean that technique and knowledge are not important, they are the tools to tell the story.