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Why am I a musician?

Beyond the Cartesian Paradigm by Craig Addy

The simple answer is I believe in beauty, expressing beauty, and contributing beauty to others. When I say beauty I mean aesthetic beauty. I mean beauty which engages our senses – sight, sound, touch, smell & taste. There are many different kinds of beauty and there are many different opinions about what is beautiful. Stay with me and I will touch on that issue later. From now on, whenever I say beauty I mean aesthetic beauty.

So, why do I believe in beauty and why would the presence of more beauty in the world make an important difference?

I believe we live in a world that has largely forgotten the value of beauty. But beauty is important. Beauty is invaluable because in the presence of beauty we are transported into the moment. At that moment all our fear, anxiety, anger and concern disappear and we are present to who we are and what really matters. The only thing that really matters is the moment you are in right now and in that space we are free to dream, adventure, explore what’s possible, and go beyond the boundaries and constraints that hold us back. In that space, we are naturally present to love and being connected with the world outside of us. We are no longer alone.

As a musician, I express and contribute beauty in various ways. I compose music, I improvise music, I perform at events, I create intimate salon concerts, and I do Under the Piano sessions. Of all those expressions, the last two most powerfully fulfill what I believe about beauty. When I improvise at the piano during an Under the Piano session, beauty and connection become present to me and the individual or couple under the piano in a remarkable way. Because they are “physically” under the piano they physically become part of an experience that far exceeds being near the piano. This physical connection, both to me and the piano, envelopes them in the experience mentally, emotionally, physically and for some spiritually. They are no longer bystanders to be enticed, cajoled or drawn into the beauty of the music. They are the music.

I dream of a world where beauty is a prime, if not THE prime, consideration in our actions, choices and decisions. That may seem like a fantasy, but I know it is possible. It happens every day in the face of unbelievable and dire situations. It is not an all-or-nothing proposition. Adding just a little more beauty will make a difference. But what if we add a lot more? What actions would we take regarding industrial growth in the context of beauty and the environment? How would we build our cities? How would we create our businesses and why would we create them if beauty was a prime factor in all our actions and choices? What would the world look like? I know I would want to be in it.

Also, consider that in honouring beauty we are guaranteeing something. We are guaranteeing integrity. In the presence of beauty, we know we are in the presence of something that is whole and complete. So if we applied the principle of beauty to all that we create we could not help but have a world that works better.

You might be asking, “But how do we all agree on what’s beautiful?” Agreement would be helpful, but perhaps agreement does not matter. Acceptance of each other’s ideal of beauty would be just as useful. What does matter is that each of us cares that all we create in the world is authentically beautiful to us individually. Then, the workability of the world will expand exponentially because everything we create will have integrity within the context in which it was created.

This is why I am a musician. This is why I am passionate and inspired by Under the Piano. My participation and contribution are much much bigger than me alone. I invite you to start looking for beauty and to start acknowledging and honouring the beauty in your life. I invite you to create more beauty in your life now.