This is an interview I did for the excellent book "The Spiritual Significance of Music" by Justin St. Vincent. Since then, Justin has written two great sequels to his book, with more insights from musicians from all over the world.
Eduardo Martinez - COMPOSER & MUSICIAN
EDUARDO MARTINEZ is an artist, composer, and musician from Nashua, New Hampshire (now Florida.) Eduardo was born in Lima, Peru, and brought up in San Juan, Puerto Rico. A multi-instrumentalist who plays acoustic guitars, archtop guitars, classical guitars, crystal bowls, acoustic and electronic percussion, shakers, and synthesizers. His music features ambient, classical, electronic, and world music styles, and musical influences include Deuter, Kitaro, Pink Floyd, Robert Rich, Steve Roach, Carlos Santana, Anoushka Shankar, and Ravi Shankar. Eduardo Martinez’s blog The Sound Gathering discusses thoughts on music, sound, creativity, and social wellness.
Music has the ability to lead us in transcending time and space. It connects us with something larger than ourselves. Creating or listening to music is an exercise in stepping out of ordinary time into magical time and space. As co-creators we can access this magical state. Similar to the alchemist of previous ages, today’s musician transmutes simple and readily available raw materials, notes, silence, and time, to weave a much more valuable tapestry called music. The listener is equally transported when listening to such music. In a way, the musician also transcends reality and achieves a certain degree of immortality by having contributed to the harmonious sounds in our universe.
Music can help us to connect with our hearts and souls in a way that our intellect can only hint at. Blaise Pascal, the 17th century philosopher and mathematician, said: “The heart has its reasons, of which reason knows nothing”. Musicians choose the language of music to express that which cannot be accessed via words or the intellect. Ancient philosophers also studied music and recognized that it held the secrets for understanding ourselves and the universe around us. This includes a deeper awareness of the physical world as well as our own spirituality. Just feel your heart strings being gently pulled when listening to or playing a song you hold dear.
The musician can also use music as dharma, or virtuous path, as it shows us discipline, dedication, love, and beauty. The pursuit of beautiful music is an evolving ideal, one that the musician knows well and will never reach absolute perfection with, but is a better person for having tried. The musician also has a sacred responsibility to use music in ways that are uplifting and inspiring. Music is a tool imbued with the intent and energy of the composer and the performing musicians, and its impact on its audience is the message carried by these intentions. A great power and a great responsibility indeed!
I am always in awe of the immense power of music in connecting us in meaningful and spiritual ways. Music highlights that which is common within all of us, while it seems to wash away those things that seemingly separate us. When I lead improvisational sound and drum circles, I rejoice watching experienced musicians and beginners alike, creating beautiful sounds together. The smiles are priceless. Music and music-making belong to everyone, not just the chosen few. Most indigenous societies through time have understood this, and practiced music as a community activity.
On a personal level, my music and my spirituality are one and the same. I have chosen music as my vehicle to express that which is within my spirit and soul. I practice meditation before sitting down to compose and play, as I feel the depths of my being connecting to a higher power. Even a simple note has the ability to bring a tear of joy to my eyes. More than it being “my music”, I feel I was just able to tap into that endless stream of sounds and energy that is always around us, and listen to a few notes and silences passing by. The music I share is what I was able to listen to, and now pass on to others. Music IS my meditation, a mirror reflecting my connection to myself, to others, and to the Universe.
“Music IS my meditation, a mirror reflecting my connection to myself, to others, and to the Universe.”
– Eduardo Martinez, composer and musician
Find Justin's original interview & website at: http://www.xtrememusic.org/eduardo-martinez/