Music and the art of not to act

~ Music and the art of not to act ~

I often think about a truthful and accurate meaning of this when applying it to music: Doing nothing. Because when interacting with a piece of music, you are in constant dialogue with the flowing notes.

However, doing nothing refers to the very active state of mind that avoids the interruption between you and music. This way of feeling and thinking is essential in the Zen approach of archery. ‘’There is only the bow, the arrow, the movement and the sensation of learning something new’’.

Conductor Sergiu Celibidache was influenced strongly by Zen buddishm. He also valued the Japanese concept of Ichigo ichie which means “one opportunity, one encounter.” Each time we interact with someone it is a unique experience and should be treated as a once in a lifetime event. It will never recur in the same exact way.

This can be applied exactly to a piece of music. How well we know the piece does not matter, every encounter is new and therefore ‘in the moment’. There is nothing else. From this fundamental attitude, which demands maybey the highest form of concentration, it is possible to become ‘selfless’ (We call it selfless but it is in fact the strongest form of the self) and in direct connection with the music.


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