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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Composing in the Continuum of Meaning: Music and the Two Truths

  • Author(s): Perry, Scott
  • Advisor(s): Barlow, Clarence
  • et al.

People in this global age are very often suffering from a consumerist mentality where instead of generating their own meaningful life-narrative through creative outlet, they are driven to constantly distract themselves with short bursts of entertainment. This paper offers a personalized account of a long-term study and practice of creativity from a Buddhist philosophical perspective. After a brief explanation of Buddhist philosophy, this paper examines the aesthetic position of composer, John Cage, his relevance to our current cultural atmosphere, and offers a new aesthetic perspective based on the author's own exploration of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism in conjunction with the practice of music composition.

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