Friday, April 27, 2012


I come to speak of art, of the arts I know and love.

I come to speak of music. You have heard, I am sure, of the beauty of the song. Of the absolute spell-binding soulfulness, of comparisons to religion that may not fit, but do fit as well as anything in our language can. Of the flow, of the heart, of the wonder. Of everything we think of with, "art".

Those who speak of the work speak more quietly, or less frequently. Of long hours and difficult days. It may be for pride or humility, or simply for fear of scaring another artist from the land we know and love so well. And we do speak of the smooth, cornered, orderly side, of math and new languages, but we often speak only among ourselves, for too many have learned to fear math, or that they can't learn languages. For we know it doesn't matter if the beliefs are true, only if they believe.

I come to speak of math. You have heard, I am sure, of difficult equations. Of long hours and difficult days. It may be for pride or humility, or simply excusing one's own fear of the mathematical domain. We speak of the sharp, cornered, orderly side, of formulae and diagrams memorized.

It is difficult to speak up, for we have few role models who spoke the words. When someone, even an artist, a lover of music, says unapplied mathematics is useless, boring, it is difficult to speak back. I do not know a song to let play in my mind, to push me forward; I know no grand speeches.

Yes, math builds things. Music can inspire armies. But, at its heart, the beauty of math, the song and color and life, is intrinsic. One need not add anything to math to make it good, anymore than one need add to music.

Music has math in it, and math art.

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