Editor’s Note: On Nov. 15, 2012, Western News celebrated its 40th anniversary with a special edition asking 40 Western researchers to share the 40 THINGS WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE NEXT 40 YEARS. This is one of those entries. To view the entire anniversary issue, visit the Western News archives.
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Often, we think of music as entertainment. We go to a concert, enjoy familiar tunes and go home hopefully feeling at least as good as when we arrived. However, for me, music has the potential to bring one into the realm of the unknown, closer to the unknowable, and finally, to a state of grace.
Artistic endeavour will play a crucial role in the coming years. The performing arts provide perhaps the most binding experience in a world where people are inclined to interact with one another through an electronic medium, or even with the electronic device itself. Live music will remain one of the few compelling reasons for us to venture out of our discrete cubicles and cubbyholes and participate in the community of living things.
The best moments in my life have been when I have allowed myself to be part of this community.
To participate in music making at the highest of levels, facilitated by my presence here at Western, is a gift as well as a responsibility. University music programs are the place where the search for truths about human existence must be nurtured; the researcher/teacher free to explore new ways of creating the magical bond between creator, performer and listener and the student eager to boldly and bravely carry the torch of artistic endeavour into the future.
Art is never static, and the next few decades will demand of artists the greatest feats of craft and imagination.
Omar Daniel is a Composition professor in the Don Wright Faculty of Music.