Some might think we’re crazy…
We hear things. We hear things no one else can hear, and sometimes we’re not sure whether or not we can hear them either, but we think we can hear them so intensely that we end up hearing… something, and that will do. As long as there’s something to hear, everybody’s happy.
We hope and swear and pray that we can dictate or translate or remember what we heard or what we wanted to hear or at least realize that we forgot what we had heard and make something else up that probably will sound something like what we heard or thought we heard or wanted so much to hear–just so that those who couldn’t possibly have heard what we heard (or didn’t hear or wanted to hear) might be able to hear… something.
We curse the fact that in order for us to hear what we have already heard or thought we heard or wanted to hear with our ears, we have to be able to see it with our eyes, which (besides being a supreme pain in the ass) is damn near impossible to do, as what we see is (of course) not what we hear…see, not only do we ourselves not hear exactly and precisely what we see but our friends (who, through the use of wind or hair or hammer, want to help us hear what we hear or want to hear or thought we heard) see it ever-so-slightly different than we see it, and therefore may hear something else entirely.
We hope and swear and pray that our friends, through the use of wind or hair or hammer, can, in fact, help us to hear what we can already hear (or what we would like to hear), and once we hear it we will know what it sounds like (even though we have never heard it before) because, in fact, we have heard it, or we think we have heard it, or we wanted to hear it so hard that we actually heard… something, and that will do. As long as there’s something to hear, everybody’s happy.
We curse the fact that once our friends, through the use of wind or hair or hammer, analyze and interpret and perform this “noh-tey-shuhn” which we have allowed them to see, others will hear… something… which may or may not resemble that which we heard or thought we heard or wanted to hear so very, very much, and once this “aw-dee-uhns” hears that… something… everything changes. It does not matter what we originally heard or thought we heard or wanted to hear way back when–it only matters what everyone else can hear. And they will see us differently, since (of course) they know (or think they know) us now because of what they have heard, which may or may not have resembled that which we originally heard or thought we heard or wanted to hear so very, very, very much way back when.
We hear things. We hear things and through years of trial and error we allow others to hear… something… that makes them smile or wince or think or dance. That is why we are here. That is why we do what we do. Others allow us to do what we do through their many forms of support and generosity because they want to know us (or think they know us) by hearing what we say we heard–“I am someone who has heard something truly interesting,” we say, “ and by listening and hearing to what I have heard, you might get to know me a little better.”
It is this intimacy that makes what we do–composing–special and important. It matters to our audiences to know with whom they are becoming intimate, whose mind they are getting to know. It matters to our performers who, through their wind or hair or hammers, come even closer to knowing who we are and, in some ways, re-inventing us altogether.
It does not matter who created a work, but it matters that everyone know who created a work. It matters because it is why we do what we do.
Some might think I’m crazy…