"During the 5 years since I was selected by the Davidson Foundation for a fellowship, I have given concerts, been on tv, spoken at seminars, done charity fundraising, played in London's Royal Albert Hall, and in New York's Carnegie Hall. I have explored a lot of music, . .It's incredible how much . . . energy pours out after a concert. And, also, during those 5 years, my hands . . . grew to reach an octave. . . . The rest of me also grew (somewhat).
"It was the Davidson Institute which provided me the initial boost--one of those things that cannot ever be . . . superseded. But what I have to say is not just about thanking them, although that too.
"It's kind of like . . . the Royal Geographic Society . . . which would send out explorers to unknown areas of the world to find plants and animals, . . . and rivers. Nowadays, of course, all they would have to do is send them to Greenland and they'd find all the new rivers they could want . . . or not want.
"Bob and Jan Davidson send out explorers similar to that. they need people from philosophy, mathematics, the arts, and the sciences to explore the new world.
"So, I set off on my journey, 5 years ago, sent by the Davidson Institute . . . . I journeyed up the Nile and I want to tell you, . . . Jan . . . Bob, . . . what I found along the way, and what I found when I made it to . . . the source.
"So, first of all, I saw all the rivers and tributaries that have already been explored, that we don't need to go down again-- I noted them down like the other people whom Bob and Jan sent out: the rivers of . . . war technologies, and all the other technologies that have not respected life . . . or the biosphere. And then there were the tributaries of thinking that have led us to the destruction of . . . [shrug, in disgust] anything--if you don't care to project into the future, who knows what you end up destroying down the line. Here we are . . . at the brink of that future--everything we have ever done is all around us, in the water, the soil, . . . the air. The by-products didn't just disappear down the drain into a parallel universe.
"So, in the end, did I make it up to the Source of the Nile? . . . I think so. Was it polluted all the way to the Source? . . . There was pollution, yes: politicians who were enthusiastic about music I had played, but who smiled blankly when I asked them to do something to stop global warming. ) But my point would be if Beethoven moved you to tell me what the music did to you--that's pretty good! And if he made us feel noble, don't you think it would be great if we acted on it and actually became noble? I would point out that it was just like Beethoven--the person who just inspired you--to have the intention to change your character. . . .
"So, the Source of the Nile, what was up there? Just a simple spring? Simple? [shrug, as if to say "maybe."] . . . or complex? big? small? . . . Of course, it doesn't matter what is to be found up there. . . if we aren't going to take it seriously. If we're going to ignore it or let someone else worry, then it doesn't matter what the problem is, or the solution is. But if you want to know, you don't really have to go to Africa. It's in The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss. It's in the apology for having built the atom bomb, by J. Robert Oppenheimer.
"What I found was a love of the world-as-Beethoven-looks-at-it. I found audiences willing to donate to charities, willing to help, willing to love All of us are ready to become humanitarians while the music is still in us . . . before we go back home.
"But I want to tell you that what people did was good. What I did was good: We raised much money. I would try to make them see that the music I played was not just sentimental, but about being inspired by values that are not just knowledge or just entertainment.
"The next step is different kinds of people, different kinds of organizations--philosophers, mathematicians, scientists, and artists to also say something or even just to show up . . . . hey, I'm still a kid, so-o-o no one listens to me, but I think that's what we need. That's what I found.
"And that's what I have to report to Bob and Jan Davidson, and the Davidson Institute."
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