February 19th, 2007 § 1 comment


I posit a metaphor:

I am a composer and a songwriter. The way I write music is first to recognize an idea that I perceive to be fertile, and then simply let that fertile idea take over my heart and mind.

I surrender to the idea. I give it the run of my heart and mind. I follow where it leads…

In the course of hundreds or thousands of mainly involuntary iterations (precisely like having a tune stuck in my head), eventually the music or song takes shape in it’s most stable possible form.

Right now I’m working on a song called Thirty Years For Jasper. As I write this song, I know that I already have in hand several parts that are definitely “keepers”. There is a verse that begins with “Jasper rides the city bus”. Another begins “Last time I saw Jasper”. The first verse begins with “Jasper wasn’t crazy”. The chorus begins with “Thirty Years for Jasper”.

Many other parts of the song, including it’s final form, remain unclear to me.

The song grows in time, backwards and forwards from these established events. The influence of these causally separate elements wash back and forth across each other, at various levels of graininess. Notes, words, motifs, phrases – all are endlessly iterated and reiterated under each other’s influence. The song’s composition does not start with its first notes, which inevitably unfold into the finished item. On the contrary, the song grows in eternal “time” as a whole, with each note, phrase, gesture, harmony, rhythm and timbre eternally interacting with every other element, limited only by Dan Bilich’s character, heart, and brain.

There is no Big Bang that sets the composition into motion. There are just endless eternal iterations of key essential elements – truths – that function causally across time.

Eventually, if I’ve done my job, I am able to bring a perfectly balanced piece of music into the world.


I have long been uncomfortable with Cosmologies that posit a “Big Bang” as an ultimate cause of our universe. It seems to me much more sensible to contemplate our universe “causing” the Big Bang.

This universe is all happening NOW. Although there are entropic eddies in eternity, the “arrow of time” appears to be an illusion.

We are dreaming it all up together. Now.

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