Oct 17

Why Write Music?

They say that everyone has a song. It may not be a song with music. It may be a story, a poem, a painting, or some other form of creative expression.There’s another saying that says you don’t want to die with your song still in you.

It’s all about creative expression. That take different forms for different people. I recently wrote an SATB choral piece based on a poem that Alec Wilder wrote. It puts it in really endearing terms. Here it is.

The person writing this is so far over
on the seesaw of life or death,
that he finds his life’s failure
worse than he believed possible…
yet better than the lives of most
successful–even eminent–people.

The loathing of Wagner–
and the profound love of Poulenc–
a moment as opposed to an hour–
one tear rather than a tantrum–
These are what life was–
a couple of hours out of 73 years.

The saddest of final breathing
is not that the person died,
but that no one could ever know
what his life had been.

That, my next reader, is why
art is profoundly godlike:
It’s the best of the lives of the dead,
who otherwise would have been silent
or wholly unknown.

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