I play the flute, but I’m more of a practitioner than a musician. This occurred to me the other day as I played. I think it can also apply to any of the other participatory arts: Reading and/or writing books, painting, sculpting, etc. As an artist you may have your own “symphony” as all things are imbued with similar characteristics like vibrations in light and sound for instance. Mine is music.
In order to hear the spaces between what the artist composer intended, what you are reading and how you are manifesting it as an individual, it is necessary and beneficial to play alone for many hours before joining the symphony. This is the practice. If you can find perfection solely in the art of practicing, you will have achieved mastery.
But this is not the mastery you are thinking of. This one is even better. It encompasses all of those things in nature we take for granted, take advantage of and exploit on a daily basis. The moment when our own highly skilled egos shed the skin of vanity not fair and become one with the whole.
How the symphony interprets it as a whole is not integral to the final masterpiece so long as each artist has a firm grasp on intention and remains true to his/her own instrument(s).
The mixed metaphor of music written on a page allows us to read the mind of the composer in a finite way as the notes and directions represent clearly defined moments in time, levels of vibration and tonality.
During the performance, we are simultaneously synchronizing our own experiences in a prolonged expression of energy; whether it is released through movement, breath or action, or any combination of kinesthesiatic reflexes. Eg. playing an instrument or clapping. This is turn validates the composer’s reality and creates a new one for each individual participating in the performance – audience members included. This is the crescendo. The gestalt. The thing that brings tears to our eyes and smiles to our faces.
Under the direction of a skilled conductor the perceived gifts and inadequacies of an individual allow for the creation of a current so powerful it is capable of eroding all in its path, but it doesn’t. It’s a smart current. Taking with it only the pieces necessary for the final piece to be delivered into reality. Diversity integrates all those parts into a force of nature easily capable of gouging masterpieces out of solid stone. From that solidarity a uniformity so complex — so deep and wide and vast that it defies conformity yet defines complete unity–is not only manifested into reality it IS reality. We call this harmony.