mēm/ noun: meme; plural noun: memes
an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, especially imitation.
According to one of most inspiring futurists of our time, Barbara Marx Hubbard, we are now entering the age of conscious evolution where there is a mass appearance of a new type of human, which she calls universal.
Over the summer I had the opportunity to be part of a group familiar with this world view and tasked with discussing and notating the contrast between the Traditional Memes or paradigms found in the arts over the last several hundred years of Western Culture and the Quantum Based Arts memes that are presently dawning. The discussions were lively as we shared perspectives from the world of visual art and the world of music. The overviews were as follows:
In Traditional Art, numerous restraints are placed on artists and their ability to have total creative freedom. Historically artists have been record keepers of the past and visionaries of the future. Only a few individuals are seen to possess creative ability.
In Quantum Art creativity is accessible and affirmed for all. Artists are valued for their immense contribution to all sectors of society and compensated accordingly. The inherent creativity of each human is expressed by each of us as a contribution to our global humanity.
One of the aspects I love about the universal human world view is that it reinforces the truth that each and every human has a musical pulse running through their physical being in the form of their heart beat. This internal music, or foundational rhythm is with us from early on in the womb until we draw our last breath. It is one of the tenets of my musical pedagogy that this internal music inherently belongs to each one of us, regardless of the amount of our musical training or at what age we first picked up our instrument or decided to sing our first song. One of my colleagues enlightened me that Plato said something similar thousands of years ago. As this concept is quite self-evident, how is it that we have convinced ourselves as a culture that only a few have artistic or musical “talent”, and there are precious few artists on the planet that are worthy of our time and attention due to the level of their mastery?
I believe that the world around us benefits from more harmony, not less, and that each and every effort to attune to the most resonant chord that we are capable of perceiving is elevating not only to ourselves, but to those around us too. One of the beautiful things about music and art is that it is living, breathing and constantly evolving, just as we evolve. For me the masterful artists on the planet are there to inspire us to what is possible, not dissuade us or shame us into not exercising our creative capacities.
So, let us imagine and embody a new meme in our culture that celebrates each artistic and creative endeavor, and compels us to heighten our awareness of the technical and musical demands of our instruments without the need to assign judgments during the process that assault our character or someone else’s. The sense of freedom to explore, question, experiment, fail gracefully, and quiet our minds so that the structure and nuance of our inner music and creative process can be perceived and executed is one of life’s great joys. Be courageous, and play on!
Nora Williams, Artistic Director