Updated: Apr 11
I recently read a collection of essays and interviews in a book entitled Contemporary Composers on Contemporary Music.
I especially enjoyed the selections correlating music with life and/or nature. One of them, which was from a lecture given by Roger Sessions at Juilliard entitled The Musical Impulse resonated with me more than any other. I am paraphrasing here, but the essence of what he says is that the rhythmic alternation of tension and release in music is rooted in our experience of breathing as the fundamental basis of human life. Other examples of rhythmic alternation in nature he cites are the seasons, the tides, day and night, walking, and the human heartbeat.
This helped me to formulate my current composition project which has the working title of Breathing Space in which my goal is to develop and use space as the focus of the piece. So far, it's eight and a half minutes long and consists of 286 measures. The vision is strong and the message is clear. Music is a fundamentally human experience.