What Nature Tells Me (2016)
Music for 14 players.
Premiered by wild Up, conducted by Christopher Rountree at Schoenberg Hall, UCLA, April 2016.
What Nature Tells Me is a theme and variations of sort, or better yet, a "recurrence and change”. It is an attempt to reconcile the phenomena of discursive knowledge vs. direct knowledge, for example, the mathematical precision of gravity vs. the innate understanding of standing on your own two legs. Galileo said "Nature is a book one can read, but the language is mathematics" yet numbers are not found in nature. Humans created numbers in order to abstractly represent what we perceive in the world. So what do our numbers represent? In nature all things are individuals and together equal one whole, the universe. We can see this in the self-similar structures of unrelated subjects such as a patch of wildflowers, human genealogy, and a lightning bolt. Although these are three totally different things, they all utilize a hierarchical organization guided by a principle of self-similarity. There are an endless amount of these seemingly universal patterns which recur throughout the micro and macro world, illuminating a unity in multiplicity. This “not-twoness” points to the idea that the universe and all its multiplicity are ultimately expressions or appearances of one essential reality, sometimes referred to as consciousness, awareness, the I, the self, or Sat-chit-ananda.