WHY

 
 
 
—are we not formed, as notes of music are,
For one another, though dissimilar;
— Percy Byssche Shelley, Epipsychidion
 
 
 

As musicians we acknowledge that we are holders of human rights that are central to our professional pursuits, including the rights to: 

 

Freedom of Expression

Freedom of Assembly

Education

Work

Participate in the Culture of the Community

Enjoy the Arts

We believe these rights carry responsibilities to support the human rights that others need to lead a life of dignity— all human rights.

 

 

The human community faces relentless challenges to ensuring basic conditions for a life well lived, as defined by the person. Despite significant advances in medicine, science, and technology, recurrent and new threats to the peaceful pursuit of individual and collective goals are causing the fragmentation of nations, displacement of citizens and residents in numbers not witnessed since WWII, expanding wealth disparities, and imperiled prospects for dignified life. Humanism itself seems under attack. These circumstances have impelled us to explore ways in which we might amplify the impact of personal values and professional objectives within society at large.

We believe that music dignifies human experience by giving voice to thoughts and feelings. The individual encounter through music with joy, sadness, nostalgia, oppression, hope, or love presents opportunities to recognize one’s own humanity, dignify others by respecting their personal experiences, and contemplate our collective humanity. An encounter with the arts is an opportunity to perceive, to reflect, to participate, and most importantly, to expand our repertoire of possible responses to the world we inhabit. A passage often cited by Steven R. Covey captures the essence of our belief, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

 
 
 

Violinist Marina Chiche explains “Why?”