Wu-Wei Pluralism

 

In this the post-modernist music world, how do we have fruitful cross-cultural musical conversations? How do we make music that represents our pluralist world and diverse personal backgrounds? How can we be pluralist at the core level, not just creating a montage of exotic materials? Yet on what basis do we organize our music? I advocate a kind of pluralism with an wu-wei spirit. 

 

Wu-wei pluralism is pluralism with wu-wei as the spiritual guide. Wu-wei is a theme widely found in Chinese philosophy. It can be roughly translated as “effortless ease”, “spontaneous action”, or “unself-consciousness”, similar but more comprehensive to the idea of “flow." It is often thought of as the pinnacle of personal achievement. 

 

In wu-wei pluralism, music can be a natural crystallization of one’s self-cultivation and one’s diverse personal background. It is an effortless manifestation of diversity.  

 

Music is a very abstract art form. It does not excel at presenting precise logical conclusions, yet it can directly influence the way that we live our day. Wu-wei music does not force the pressure of personal expression and outcry onto the listeners, but rather, it gives away positive energy, inspiring the listeners. In our modern world, life can be complex and full of distractions. The fundamental aim of wu-wei is to allow humans to flourish, and wu-wei music aims to be the much needed moments of meditation and a home to return to. 

 

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