Student: What happens when we die?That is John Cage in the header photo with Zen master D.T. Suzuki and classical music can learn a lot from Zen thinking. Imagine for a moment there is no monolithic / young / hip / rock loving / vibrant / technically literate / affluent 'new' audience for classical music. Similarly imagine there is no monolithic / conservative / elitist / moribund / white / luddite / reactionary / disposable 'old' audience. Instead imagine the audience for classical music is like a cloud: made up of millions of unique particles, each with a different age, behaviour pattern and tastes. Now imagine this granular cloud is constantly changing and reforming in accord with the Zen teaching of impermanence. Imagine there is no one-size-fits-all music and no one-size-fits-all style of concert presentation. Imagine the concepts of 'old' and 'new' audiences are illusory and the only absolute reality is the music itself. Now imagine enlightenment in the form of a development strategy for classical that replaces the myth of monolithic 'new' and 'old' audiences with the truth of a granular, diverse, discerning, and constantly changing and evolving audience. Then imagine classical music making some progress...
Zen master: I don't know.
Student: But you're a Zen master.
Zen master: True. Quite true. But I am not a dead Zen master.
Apocryphal header quote comes via Huston Smith's Tales of Wonder: Chasing the Divine. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Also on Facebook and Twitter.