Here’s a cool pikchah of me with music all over my face.

It’s from the seminar we did here a few weeks ago about the intersection of art and science in advance of the premiere of my Shadow on the Sun.

The seminar was hosted by ARTstem’s Michael Wakeford.  Solar physicist Eric Carlson brought us up to date on the latest findings in sun studies, including some tantalizing paradoxes.  Then I talked about how these issues found their ways into my piece.

Eric made a fascinating philosophical point at the conclusion.  Talking about the equations he could show us that would explain various features of the sun, he said that in the end they were just numbers, just symbols that clarify certain aspects of the way we experience the universe.  As such, they were no more or less accurate than the music I had written, which was also symbolic in nature, and which “explained” solar activity in both rational and intuitive terms.

In certain circles, descriptive music is sneered at as the lowest kind of artistic endeavor.  In Carlson’s formulation, though, artistic description is one of many ways we have of understanding our environment – and understanding our environment is an important enough endeavor that scientists need to use every means at their disposal.

Kind of gives me more respect for what I do.

And now I have to go wipe some of those sixteenth notes off of my nose.

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