Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Servant of Two Masters

Today was a long day, full of business and an intense period of frustration. To top it off, it is a Tuesday. Thus my wife is working late, not to come home until midnight strikes. These conditions make for an unhappy Scott, which leads to a melancholic instrospection.

As a music theorist, I find myself caught between several opposing factions. Theorists are trained to create rational explanations for artistic phenomena, to find patterns in the ephemeral. I am happy with this, especially with my ultra-rationalist scientific research in music cognition and perception. But I am also trained as a performer, trying to reach the hidden emotions within me and express them in inexpressable ways. This inner turmoil is reflected in academic politics, as the artists and the scholars face off with a seeming misunderstanding of what the other side does. I find myself in the middle, trained in both disciplines but really part of neither.

And then I rise up from my self-absorbed misery to see that things are not so bad. I am part of a reading group with some psychologists, exploring auditory perception. I am playing a fanfare by Augusta Read Thomas with a group of faculty and students for a conference in her honor. And I have my classes and this blog in which I can try to connect artistic and logical perspectives. I am not a servant of two masters, but rather a fortunate inheritor of two traditions.

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