How important is the scientific aspect of your work? David Rosenboom



David Rosenboom

Whenever in history there has emerged an era of enriched inquiry into the nature of things and the natural phenomena of human beings, intense interactivity among the arts and the dominant systems of inquiry at the time has fueled the essential creative impulses of both. Since the development of what we now refer to as scientific inquiry, this interdisciplinary interactivity has been particularly vigorous. It has helped us glimpse possible unity in the multiplicity of ways we view the universe and to begin comprehending what a tiny portion of the brain’s immense activity is actually comprised of what we call the conscious mind.

In this fascinating interaction of science and music, it is of paramount importance that we maintain keen awareness of the great breath of human experiences that may be called music, and that also remain aware of the differences and similarities in the two methods of inquiry. Both are full of creative investigation, hypothetical models, experimental methods, hypotheses, precise expressions, and aesthetic musings. The most serious difference lies in the scientists’ focus on experimental verification of purported facts, which can be shared reliability within a community, and the musicians’ license to invent whole worlds of potential reality and then create and explore them as if they were indeed naturally and substantially manifest.

These processes of discovery, however they emerge, are always operative in my musical practice. Each piece may be imbued with different mixtures of what we may call musical, scientific, cultural, poetic, systematic, or intuitive impulses. If they are there, they have been studied and considered as deeply as I can muster. That’s my responsibility in creating the musical gift I try to offer to listeners. Listeners are then invited to be creative explorers in the result. For I regard listening as composition, the creative assembly of often shared sound experiences, sometimes within the environment of a work provided by a composer. There are no requirements. If listeners choose to inform their practice by investigating the underlying content of these works, then that is also their creative choice.