Actors know the power of the pregnant pause. Artists understand the need for white space. Some musicians play the notes; others play the space between the notes. Masterful artists of any discipline think perhaps the notes or words or space are a way to express the silence and that sound and silence are simply mirror images of the same thing. But then again, have any notes really ever expressed the nature of silence? Can words or paint or sound ever do more than hint at the eternal silence that is the foundation of everything—the silence of earth and rock and empty space. After all, the Earth is simply a spinning marble of clay in a sea of silence older than time.
Many people are surprised to learn that I rarely listen to music in my free time, and that it is most certainly not classical. In order to function as a pianist and teacher of music for up to 9 hours a day, I need periods of silence for at least part of the day so that I can emerge from a place of quiet and actually listen to the music that I’m playing and teaching.