Saturday, November 27, 2010


Are great works of art, music, poetry, or other art forms truly original?

Have you ever watched a dancer leap into the air and feel your heart leap with joy? Or have you heard a piece of music and thought of the passion the artist must have experienced to write such a moving composition? We often perceive art as a form of expression, not just human expression, but the expression of that particular artist. We think of works of art, music, or poetry as original. But consider this:

If it is truly original, why would we have an intense visceral response to it?

If it is truly original, wouldn't our experience of it be completely foreign to us, and therefore more like listening to a language that we couldn't understand and be meaningless to us?

If it is truly original, why would our experience of the art be subjective, as well as to those who are creating the work, or those who may be playing music from another era?

These artist are not just expressing themselves. They are gifted at creating the path to understanding ourselves and inner world, especially if we are receptive to it. They are expressing the divine part of our humanity. That is why I experience melancholy when I view Van Gogh's self portrait. That is why I experience joy when I hear Handel's "Messiah". That is why I feel a peaceful sensation when I hear the beginning of Debussy's "Claire de Lune" But there is something else in it that I can't describe in words when the dynamics of the music begin to rise and fall. I feel passion but there is something else. What is is?

That's the beauty of it!
It is that moment when I feel that part of me that has been moved by something greater than myself, while simultaneously granting me a cathartic experience of something that has affected me deeply on a more personal level - a way to express something that is felt that cannot be put into words. The difference between us and those who create great works of art is that they have the ability and the drive (hard work and dedication) to translate the infinite spectrum of human emotions into something that we can embrace.

The true originality is the way the artist expresses or channels that creation, the way it is played   -
 the way that no other artist can.   

Daihei Shibata's visual interpretation of Debussy...

The Light of Life from daihei shibata on Vimeo.

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