The Following are Extracts from a pending publication.
Historically we live in a 'permissive' society--a society in which everything is allowed-consequence, partly perhaps, due to excesses committed through History by social-politic-religious organizations in power.
The mistake is, that, unfortunately because of this, we go from one end to the other, from one extreme ('you have to believe the same I do-or I'll kill you' attitude) to another ('any & everything is OK. & valid-since everything is relative & personal anyway' attitude), from a terribly ignorant & intransigent position to a quasi-infantile, confused & purposeless reality. And I, for one, believe that extremes are not right. It is like: or living in a jail chained, or being out in space without gravity.
I believe --the same way the great J.S. Bach did-- that I make music both for the glory of God & the 'sublimation of the human soul', affecting people positively in His name, & that by being a creative musician I am simply fulfilling the statement that "we have been created to His Image & similarity". I also have the deep conviction that, as a creative-improvising musician, I am fulfilling God's command to "Sing unto the Lord a new song", that it is possible to be openly creative --with infinite capabilities ideas wise-- because of His promise that states that "His blessings are new every morning".
Also, I understand that imagination, hard work & submission to His matchless creative power, are key for us as musicians to get to the highest level, affecting people to a better, richer place, the same way as David's anointed music made depression disappear from king Saul's soul.
For me performing is a sacred act: regardless of the situation, place or time, when people see me play they are simply witnessing an act of worship, submission & dependency.
Of worship because --as a deeply committed Christian-- I believe that the act of music-making is at the very core of my identity: God has created me to worship Him, & playing for His glory --this dynamically powerful, inter-personal relationship-- fills me in a way that is impossible to describe in words. Of submission because by getting myself 'out of the way' --in a way, partially similar to Zen-- & letting God do 'His job', is the only way I have experienced anything worthy, musically valuable. And -finally- of dependency, because I discovered long time ago that I cannot do ANYTHING AT ALL on my own! All creative power, beauty, depth & substantial meaningfulness comes directly from the Almighty Creator. Like a specialist crossing a tightrope over an abyss, I have learned to trust His power --inexorably & completely in spite of me!-- to take me beyond what I could have ever imagined, possibilities-wise.
Thus, all of a sudden, & as a direct result of this, a whole new & fresh perspective emerges, giving meaning, sense, balance, certitude & direction in the endless journey that characterizes my experience as--hopefully--a creative artist.
I also believe God made me a musician to keep me humble for the rest of my life: How else could I be after the presence of geniuses, great luminaries --both through Western & Non-Western History-- of insurmountable creative capacity? Having been both blessed & affected by masters like Bach, Beethoven, Mozart; Bartok, Stravinsky, Messiaen; 'Baba' Allaudin Khan, Ali Akbar Khan, Raviji Shankar, Nikhil Banerjee, Hariprasad Chaurassia; John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong, & so many others... how could we nowadays have any room for arrogance.?
I believe that we are lost without God, that we have a void in the very core of our existence that only God can fill. Like a child trying to put a square figure into a round hole, we try --unsuccessfully-- to fill this emptiness with religion, mysticism, good deeds, intellectualism, art, activism, sex, drugs/alcohol --fill the blank... But it is only when we find the cross as the door to the father, is that we can fill that gap, one that otherwise remains insurmountable.
People may ask: why, as an educated artist/musician, in such an 'advanced' time, can I still believe that the only way to salvation, God the Father and Heaven, is Jesus Christ? How about other cultures, religions, ways, convictions, etc., Why would not they be valid? How and why is Jesus exclusive (after all, I can believe in Him, while also believe in other philosophies, right?).
My answer is very simple, and I will not be quoting the Bible, I simply based it on logic : If God is omniscient [that means He knows it all] He definitely is not senseless!!. Any parent would agree with me in recognizing that there is nothing more precious than our kids. So, if God knows it all, wouldn't He then spare the life of His only son, if there was any other way[s] through which we could be saved? That is why Jesus is exclusive, because of our condition, we can only take God's answer --the only perfect one-- to reestablish our relationship with Him. It is like being pregnant: we are or we are not! There is no such a thing as being "half pregnant", or a little bit-almost-"quasi" pregnant.
Or, again, like speeding-up. Whenever we break the speed limit [be it 65 m.p.h., or other] we are speeding-up, period!!, we could never say: "I was speeding-up a little bit", or a lot. It is ON or OFF, and yes, there are aspects in life that subscribe to this reality. You see, God loved us so much, that He paid the ultimate price for us--one that we were supposed to pay--by giving us His Son. If we could have made it on our own, through, again, any of the ways mentioned before, God, the perfect father, would have never sacrificed his only son while consciously knowing that humanity had other way[s] or mean[s] to be saved.
That would be the cruelest thing, God giving His son in ransom while knowing that there was any alternative. UNLESS it was absolutely, inexorably necessary, God, that knows it all, knowing that the loss of a child is the worst natural tragedy any parent can go though--I can personally confirm that, I lost my daughter few years ago--would have definitely spared him if there was another way. And He did it out love!! What a tremendous--human logic defying--mystery, but what a fantastic & wonderful reality: God loves us so much He gave us His own Son for our sake!!
I believe that music is by nature one & universal, the same way God [our- Creator] is one & universal. In every kind of music, we observe parameters unequivocally common to all of them (in spite of art's own subjective nature) like playing on time, playing in tune, playing with life, developing a finely sophisticated vocabulary, always striving for a nice combination of balance & exuberance that affects our sensibilities in a very deep way, etc.; the same way that human beings are universally the same, by our own nature since the dawn of times: no matter geographic origins or chronology we are the same: we love, we hate, we are greedy, we pursuit power & control over any & everything, etc.
There is--though--a difficulty that comes as a consequence from the very nature of music itself: music happens to be such a powerful, undeniably elevated force that many times it gets confused with the Creator! God, the Creator has created absolutely everything, including music. Then, something created--like music--could never take the place of the One that created it--God Almighty! That is why I am also convinced that the best example of the universality of God's Love towards humanity is the cross, where He gave His son Jesus Christ for our sake!!.It is my tremendous privilege to thank Him for His all encompassing love expressed through the different musical traditions/expressions that characterizes my artistic direction. OSSIA
By exercising these eclectic musical directions I am also conveying my gratitude to such an all encompassing love!!
All Rights Reserved.Updated 1/1/2009