The musical piece, objectified in the score or recording, does not actually exist unless someone plays/listens. This is a perfect example of the subject/object dependency that has baffled scientists for over a century. This brings to mind the Schoedinger cat paradigm â€“ not a real cat, thank goodness, but a hypothetical cat cruelly placed in a closed box where a poison capsule has a 50/50 chance to be triggered. What do we know about the cat after one minute passes? Is the hypo-cat alive or dead? Actually, yes and no: until the fact can be observed, it does not exist as either one or the other, but as a superposition of two parallel universes.
Just as the cat may as well not have existed unless it was observed, Iâ€™ve always felt that my work didnâ€™t exist until it was performed/shared. In fact, I donâ€™t have much interest in composing in my parallel universe with no outside interaction. But I am sure many others are happy in their parallel universes, shielded from both criticism and even appreciation, which can be just as exacting. Could it be that we are in many little niches existing in their own parallel universes, or possibly in a larger niche of downtown music parallel and disconnected from uptown established music? And at any time, the poison capsule can be triggered – as we are essentially vulnerable.
Another aspect of the parallel universe theory applied to music is the emphasis on multidimensionality â€“ a piece is designed according to process vs. result, even environmental factors, interactivity, mathematical or technological models, found sounds, and whatnot. Music is not restricted to time, it becomes a time/space shared experience, a flux.