Category: Physics, Psychology, and Creativity

I am always on the lookout for new metaphors to assist me to improvise jazz. My latest efforts have been in the area of quantum physics. Unfortunately, quantum physics has no direction, no aesthetics, and no love. It is strictly probabilistic and functional. Cubism, on the other hand, is an artistic and geometric concept which combines physics (planes, dimensions) with perspective, shape, and artistic creative energy. Besides, cubist art is my favorite form of art. While I’m attracted to 12-tone music, I’m a real novice at it and need to work more on treating it in terms of improvisation. Cubism might be a way to improvise from the perspective of shifting tonalities, rhythms, meter, scales, and atonality as a vehicle to effective, moving expression.

Let me sketch out some brief ideas. There is an interpretive structure to improvisation which is a form of spontaneous composition. What if we structure improv musically to include things from different perspectives to bring together objects as seen from different dimensions, utilizing elements of music assembled with an arc designed to hear something as a metaphor for visual things seen as if the musician were a cubist? What would the musician use in her attempt to create a sonic representation of different elements? What would some of those elements consist of?

  • Here’s a brief list of some of the ways musicians could approach the problem of creating music cubistically:
    • Texture
      • Continuum from rough to smooth
      • Granular and gritty to liquid and fluid
      • Layers reminiscent of geological layers as seen on the walls of a chasm or on mountainsides        
    • Rhythm
      • Continuum from classical and unaccented through all variations of popular rhythms including jazz swing and all forms of jazz historically beginning with 19th century forms into the present
      • Electronic jazz to electroacoustic
      • All forms of rock
        • Hip hop
        • Funk
        • Ska
        • Reggae
        • Metal
        • Blues
      • Rhythms of different cultures
        • Indian
        • African
        • Asian
        • Middle eastern
        • South American
        • Indigenous and tribal
    • Meter
      • Western meter used in jazz
        • 4/4
        • ¾
        • 6/8
        • 2/4
        • 9/8
    • Non-western meter
      • 5/4
      • 7/4
      • 11/4
      • 13/4
    • Chord changes
      • Complex bebop changes
      • Simple postbop changes
      • Drones
    • Musical notes
      • Continuum from tonal to atonal/12-tonal
      • Continuum of intervals from consonant to dissonant
        • Large intervals
        • Small intervals
        • Close intervals
        • Scalar intervals
          • Major
          • Minor
          • Whole tonal
          • International scales
            • Different ragas
            • Persian scales
            • Scales from a variety of folk musics used for example by Bartok, Tchaikovsky, Spanish, French, English, Celtic, German
    • Blues
      • Country blues
      • Funky blues
      • Bebop
      • Cool
      • Honky tonk
      • Roots
    • Emotion
      • Meditative
      • Warm and sweet
      • Soulful
      • Negative
        • Anger
        • Rage
        • Fury
        • Defensive
        • Reactive
        • Fear
      • Positive
        • Joy
        • Happy
        • Light
        • Fluttery
        • Warm
    • Abstract to primitive
    • Different instruments
      • Strings
      • Reeds
      • Brass
      • Percussion
      • Combinations of different instruments
        • Solo
        • Sections
    • Musical metaphors
      • Weather
        • Stormy
        • Rain
        • Wind
        • Sunny
        • Cold
        • Warm
        • Lightening
        • Thunder
      • Cosmic
      • Quantum
      • Cubist
    • Psychological
      • Jungian
        • Functions of personality
          • Thinking
          • Feeling
          • Sensation
          • Intuition
          • Judgment
          • Perception
        • Metaphysical
          • Unconscious
          • Collective unconscious
          • Myth structure
          • Alchemy
          • Dreaming
      • Freudian
        • Unconscious
        • Abreaction
        • Wish fulfillment
        • Sexual fulfillment

Flattening, deconstruction, rearrangement of perspective, elimination of depth, monochromatic color—all these typify cubist painting. Ultimately, abstraction from reality marks the demarcation of cubism from more representational art. But, as far as I can tell, performance art is less represented than sculpture, painting, collage, all visual art forms at least regarding cubist expression. In fact, aside from Merce Cunningham and his movement strategies which do not rely on programmatic notes or references to anything but movement, I cannot think of any performance art which relies on cubism to inform its realization. And, I’m not sure Merce, or John Cage for that matter, would agree with me.

I cannot find any musical representation of cubism aside from visual art utilizing musical instruments and musicians playing them. No composers I have discovered attempted using cubism as a source of inspiration. No musical forms appear to consciously utilize cubist principles. I have asked others to comment on cubist principles of music—no one answers.

How is it, then, that I can hear cubism almost every time I listen to free jazz? I can hear planes, dimensions, interacting perspectives, dissonance, complex rhythm, different musical schools, colors, and emotion all coming together in different performances of small, medium, and large ensembles made up of every musical instrument whether western, non-western, found objects, electronic, or uniquely made by an individual. In fact, I have been attempting to understand improvisation from so many different perspectives that my abstraction of these arguments has become a cubist expression all by itself! Lately I’ve been considering physics—Einsteinian and quantum, string theory and quantum chromodynamics—as springboards for hypothesis generation. The overarching issue for me is “where do all the notes come from?” 

My personal experience of improvisation lies in the sense that when I abandon myself to the process they come from somewhere other than my conscious decision to play particular notes. Personal example:  for years I have considered myself to be a poor player of chord changes. I get stuck on playing specific notes in a chord and can’t think quickly enough to make the changes. If the changes are simpler and I can think quickly enough, I lose something in terms of inventiveness. It is only once I have warmed up to a musical structure (a tune for the uninitiated) can I let go enough to have some fun. It is faster than thought. If it is a tune with chord changes and I let go I find new and inventive ways to play the changes. The danger for me is repetitiveness. I can start to play everything the same so different tunes begin to sound the same.  That is why I am now on the lookout for a way to structure improvisation and composition which will guide me when I take off. For a while I conceived of playing a solo as riding a wave as if the music was a wave and I was surfing it. I have also tried to expand meter by using Indian raga time such as the Tin Tal—a 16 measure segment in 4/4. If instead of 16 4/4 measures I think of it as one long measure in 4/4 the entire structure opens up. My latest infatuation has been the idea I got from string theory of superposition. That is quantum physics for allowing notes to appear by a process of probability. I also borrowed Feynman’s concept of the subatomic particle being in every potential place and speed until it appears—the wave again—when the wave crashes, or as physicists put it, when the quantum wave function collapses. This all felt soulless and didn’t allow for the spiritual or emotional to enter into the equation. Plus, there is no aesthetic I know of that doesn’t allow for human intervention—even Dali relied on the unconscious and its predilections to “determine” his dada.

Many different aspects of experience have gone into my lifetime of composition. I have borrowed from the Kabbalah, quantum physics, and jazz to compose a 12-movement piece I performed in 2019 entitled Qabbala::Entanglement. I have used the Torah and poetry to compose a double string quartet with double SATB chorus entitled Abyss. And I have played with Finale, a music software program, to write pieces that were suggestive but not totally specific about what the musical structure was. I am looking for the next muse to my music. Perhaps it will be cubism.


I’ve been rehearsing my newest compositions with the Accidental Orchestra, and the sounds are entering my consciousness which before have been mostly in my mind as intellectual exercises which are intended to invoke a certain meditative state. As I meditate on my meditation it occurs to me that there is in the music exactly what I intended, a quantum superposition of notes hovering around a musical structure that implies rather than specifies what is to come next.

They are deceptively simple, structured to be easily played, leaving plenty of room for improvisation which I encourage to be abstracted from the dense chordal dissonances I introduce. Let me attempt to get inside my musical-philosophical-quantum mind and let out what I hope happens when musicians hear this, play this, and what you as an audience hear and experience when you enter the domain of Qabbala from the point of view of quantum entanglement.

Direct experience of the soul
entanglement with all notes and musically organized sound
establishment of structure in which there are implied infinite possibilities of musical superimposition
the ultimate in associative reasoning bordering on free association
mystical breakthroughs into alternate universes

I’d better stop here so you can generate your own fields. Which you can do by listening to my initial offering by the Accidental Orchestra, the cd HELIX.

On Friday, May 18, 2018 I will be presenting some pieces from HELIX and from a suite of ten works based on the Tree of Life of the Kabbalah: I Kether–Crown/I Am, II Binah–Intelligence, and IX Yesod–Foundation/Basis. Please come to the
HELIX cd release party held in Westbeth in the

Please enter through the courtyard which is located on Bank Street between West St. and Washington St in the West Village to avoid the construction at Westbeth.
All my recent cds will be available for purchase and/or download.

We are on an adventure in superposition! Where all things are created equal and anything is possible! Held together by love where disorder and dissonance are a figment of the imagination. Or as Albert Einstein once is purported to have said, “imagination is greater than knowledge.”






Thirteen: a mathematical representation of the one and the three. The three in one. A trio of musicians playing free jazz. Free jazz is the concept of many as one. The musicians play together as individuals and as a group. On the highest level the individual and the group are entangled and the action of one is the action of all. The idea of the highest level is this concept of one for all and all for one. It is a very common idea and if you look for it you can see it everywhere: the herd, squadrons of birds in flight turning as one, the body in which all organs work as one, minds thinking as one, dancers dancing as one. Mathematically 13 is just as easy and just as hard as leading and following at the same time. 13 is the number of the trio, 14 the number of the quartet, 122 the number of the 22 piece Accidental Orchestra. The reason this concept of simultaneity is so hard to understand is because it represents dimensions that are not obvious to how we appear to live in the three-dimensional world. We feel alone but seek belonging. Belonging in the sense of 13, or 14, or 122 for example represents the number of dimensions. It is a religious concept of belonging in the spiritual sense to a force larger than oneself.


13 is the name of our trio. It means three in one. The three of us play as one and music is the result. When we do not play as one, when we are not practicing close listening, it is no longer music but noise. To reach the higher dimensionality of 13 the members of the trio have to lead and to follow, trusting that the others are leading and following at the same time.


Free jazz artistically and aesthetically means entanglement of individuality within a dimension that always exists in potentia yet must be attained. This is why it is hard to play freely. Free is not free unless the individuals play as a group–simultaneous and at the same time individual; individual and at the same time simultaneous. The quantum physics mathematical representation of entanglement in which the part and the whole are one thing in itself, Immanuel Kant’s philosophical concept of the ding an sich, on the level of particle physics is the simultaneous participation of entangled subatomic particles interacting at a speed which is faster than light. They are no longer time-like or space-like because the action of one entangled particle or of more than one entangled particles is also the instantaneous action of all the other entangled particles. The action of entanglement is FTL, super luminous, acausal. The action of musical entanglement is that of the one and the many all acting as one.


The reason free jazz is so hard to play, to listen to, or to understand is that the individual must lead and follow simultaneously. The ego and the lack of ego must simultaneously exist. There is a dissolution of ego into a larger ego and the music on this level moves and exists as one. Time becomes relativized. Time is not linear but non-linear–free jazz strives to inhabit this experience of non-linearity, where the past is present, the future is present, and notes do not just line up but open up into the higher dimensions. Higher in sense of not our familiar three plus one dimensions in which spacetime exists but higher because these three plus one dimensions of three dimensions plus the dimension of time are enfolded within a higher number. The accomplishment of improvisation in a group is to bring this mathematical dimensionality into our common world. Any performing group does this–orchestras, dance troupes, country music festivals, music festivals. Where you have individuals becoming entangled there is this mystical sense of belonging to a larger group.


This is what I mean when I name our trio 13. We are individuals acting as one on the higher dimensionality of the three in the one and are entangled. It is also what I have referred to as faster than thought. I cannot think fast enough to improvise and to make music. I cannot act alone. I have abandoned myself to this higher purpose. It is the army, the navy, the act of war. In the musical sense 13 is the act of peace, understanding, sensitivity to others, respecting others, living with others both as an individual and as a group. As with any mathematical concept of dimensions there is no moral sense and action as one can be as good or as evil as we want or wish it to be. We act consciously to make it so. If our intent is to take this mystical acting as one and to destroy we are Lucifer and His armies. If we are bringing life and spirit into the world we are God and His legions of angels. God in the mathematical sense is not moral. It is our humanity which makes God into an avenging God or a merciful God. It is up to us to act as one to be good or to be evil. The difficult part is acting both consciously to bring something good or evil into the world at the same time we act unconsciously as a group to do so.


Once we decide to go in a direction the forces act upon us and we are no longer in control. Which is why it is so hard to maintain the level of musicality on what we instantly recognize as being on the right level. Good music, what I call music, not sound or noise, brings together not only the musicians but all who participate in the listening to this music. We have mirror neurons in our brains to facilitate the coming together of individuals, which fire sympathetically in the presence of others and allow us to speak, to mimic, to feel the feelings of others, and to express our feelings so that others can feel how we feel. We are usually unconscious of the action of mirror neurons so to make them manifest in conscious ways takes an act of courage and sacrifice; courage to take that first step, sacrifice to abandon ourselves to forces that are normally unconscious and out of conscious control.


So it all comes down to mathematics as a foundation and humanity as a moral force, dance and music as manifestations of entanglement, and feeling good when we belong to something greater than ourselves.


13=1 + 3=4=1



Entanglement has been observed in many different experimental observations at close and relatively far distances. Entanglement itself has been well observed. There is no evidence for entanglement as it relates to the mind which is why I am offering this up as a thought experiment. I do not have the facilities to test these hypotheses. As a theorist all such ideas need to be based in theory with testable hypotheses. Einstein, for example, put forth theories that contradicted the theoretical structures of the era in which he lived. He offered several ways to support them and only when they were carried out did he get any support from the scientific community. That work continues into the present. I would like someone to take my ideas and try to disprove them and iff they fail then we can state that they have some validity. Then the experiments must be replicated.

Perhaps you might be interested in doing something like that. Let me know.

I quote:  “Strange Loops involving rules that change themselves, directly or indirectly, are at the core of intelligence (Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hofstadter, D.R., Vintage Books. 1979).”  I think I think and to find out I look upon all thinking from the Gödelian perspective of incompleteness theory which states we KNOW we do not know everything–so what do you know–nothing–and everything.  I think.  Unexpected connections natural to logic and illogic alike are reconnected or connected for the first time or connected in a meaningful symbolic manner inclusive of the inability to include everything.

We argue about AI (Artificial Intelligence) and constantly redraw the line separating artificial and intelligence.  You can hear it in the music.  Tensors hold spacetime to a gravitational mold.  Strange loops relate all territory to all non-territory repeatedly to create choral harmony when we see that all tonal and microtonal interactions relate through such interactions.

Hofstadter refers to a golden braid that is eternal and golden.  He could not be more optimistic as he defines music as logical and illogical, sometimes at the same time!  That memory is fluid becomes a proof of Strange Loops’ insistence on the relativity of synthesis, of the incompleteness of analysis.  If every memory is a composite of sensations, emotion, feeling, and so forth which can and must be rearranged if for nothing else to make room in our brain for more memories we are talking about an efficiency with a range of from poor to excellent…and beyond but never reaching perfection.

MetaHoloConsciousness might or might not be present but this does not matter if and only if the observer lifts self above experience and reflects upon it, able to include and to extricate self from the memory.  The memory reconstructs itself according to the theory of Strange Loops.  Something important becomes irrelevant and the irrelevant emerges into consciousness.  The reason to have a meta relationship with reality makes for a reason to have consciousness.

These connections need to be expanded.  I realize much of what I say in the above paragraphs make intuitive sense to me but may not connect to others  unless you share my worldview.  I apologize for my obtuseness.  There are just so many ideas and so few ways to express them in words.  Perhaps that is why music to me makes more sense than verbal expression.

I will write some more as soon as these ideas begin to gel and hopefully make more sense to you, my long-suffering reader.

I just have to say something in words. This has been a productive creative period of my life. Yes, I still use words. But for the past five months I have been on fire—Amitabha and I are both playing with fire.

It all started when I broke my leg, or to be specific, the distal end of the left femur, on my way to see FunHome with Judy and Shira, my wife and kid. It was the day after performing with the great OG—Larry Roland’s Neo Urban Folk Project with Mike Wimberley on drums and Waldron Ricks on trumpet. We were in the Arts4Art Compassion Is Justice Festival and January 5 we played a couple of hot pieces including dancer Tyshawna. So I was feeling good until I hit the pavement after tripping over a curb the next day. The radiologist at the ER got the diagnosis wrong when he provided a negative diagnosis for bone fracture. In fact I went for five days thinking nothing was wrong and could have done some serious damage if I had put any weight on that left leg. So when another doc took his own x-rays and found a “hairline fracture” and asked if I wanted to go to a nursing home to recover (we declined) I ended up needing a wheelchair and a soft, moveable cast for eight weeks. I barely left the house except to make doctor appointments and to initiate physical therapy (again). My trauma surgeon refused to operate, saying at the same time I was the only person who broke a femur he had ever seen who did NOT require surgery because my femur didn’t shatter. Question: why am I always the “interesting patient” who doesn’t comply with any of the rules?

I began zoning out at the piano and a structural chordal concept introduced itself to my fevered brain. And that was it! The changes began morphing into a piece for renaissance jazz orchestra for which I had written back in the ‘70s for my group, Free Energy which consists of a reed, brass, string and rhythm section. Only it was over 40 years later, the computer has been invented, and I’m now working with FINALE, a computer music software. It was off to the races. I decided to name the piece in honor of my broken leg: C# or Bb, See Sharp or Be Flat. The next piece to surface is in five movements which I name The Old One.

My unconscious decides to name the fantasy group I have to form to play these compositions the Accidental Orchestra (I wake up in the middle of the night with “accidental” in my mind) because firstly, tripping and falling is an accident, secondly it’s a musical pun on accidentals—sharps and flats, thirdly it is an ode to my neighbor, composer John Cage who collaborated (upstairs from my apartment at Westbeth) with choreographer Merce Cunningham who utilized chance techniques, aka, accidents, as part of his process (as did Merce when choreographing), and finally, accidents are a subset of the quantum physics concept of superposition and are chance events because they are random. Are you with me on this quadruple musical pun?

Then the fun part began—asking cats to join up. First I had to have a project so I decided to record the Orchestra at Systems II in Brooklyn where Billy Stein and I recorded our Intervals cd in 2013. I ask Jon Rosenberg, the engineer on that date, to work with me. Jon makes it all seem like it could happen and gives great advice and suggestions. Then I need people. The first to respond are Steve Swell and Jason Kao Hwang who recommend friends of theirs. Then I ask Richard Keene, Eliot Levin, and my buddies in the New York Free Quartet, Chuck Fertal, Steve Cohn, and OG—Larry Roland. Warren Smith, followed by Badal Roy, Mike Wimberley, Vincent Chancey, and Michael Lytle, then Waldron Ricks, say they’re in. Now I have a reed section, brass section, rhythm section, and bass section. But I’m going to need to fill out the string section. Joining Jason Hwang, Charles Burnham signs up as do Bob Stern and Carol Buck. I’m now down one violinist and I need a conductor (still). John Shea agrees to conduct, making a connection back to the original Free Energy and then Tomas Ulrich and Carol Buck come on board as cellists. Rosi Hertlein becomes my third violinist. And I’m done. Now the hard part—getting a rehearsal schedule from 20+ of the most successful and busy musicians in New York.

The Accidental Orchestra: string sextet–Jason Kao Hwang, John Burnham and Rosi Hertlein (v), Bob Stern (vla), Tomas Ulrich and Carol Buck (vc), Larry Roland (b), brass–Steve Swell (tb), Vincent Chancey (fh), Waldron Ricks (tpt), drummers–Warren Smith (perc), Badal Roy (tabla), Chuck Fertal (d), Michael Wimberley (djembe, perc), and reed players–Richard Keene (oboe), Elliot Levin (f), Michael Lytle (bc), Ras Moshe (ss), myself on Bb clarinet, Steve Cohn (piano), Billy Stein (guitar), conductor–John Shea.  Jon Rosenberg is the recording engineer.

All this takes place as the New York Free Quartet rehearses and records a cd at Tedesco Studio. That is a trip too. Every one of my horns (flute, my new Bb clarinet, soprano and tenor saxes, bass clarinet) go into Perry Ritter’s repair shop and come out perfect. That’s May 3, 2016. Now I’m mixing it down with John Shea who mixed the first NYFQ cd, Free Play.

So I have just (I think) finished C# or Bb. The first four movements of five of The Old One based on my readings into the Qabbala, Egyptian Book of the Dead, and the Tibetan Book of the Dead are (more or less) finished. It is entitled The Old One as an homage to my cousin, Albert Einstein, who referred to God as the old one. It has a completely different feeling from C# and is very intense. I think I’m beginning to discover how to write for strings. The process is taking me over.

I don’t think I’ve ever talked about this before, certainly not in public in a blog post. I hope you see this less as blowing my own horn and more as expiation, explanation, imagination and creation.

All this is prelude to saying something that I think about from time to time—why did I survive? Why did I become that “interesting patient?” How did I pull through getting so sick that, aside from myself, some felt I was not going to make it? Last year, in January, 2015, I got really sick with a bacterial infection, became septic, got a UTI, and went to the hospital—twice because it invaded my nerves, nervous system, and every joint I had ever injured making them so inflamed that I had inflammation arthritis—similar to getting arthritis over the years, except this went down in 48 HOURS. It caused extensive neuropathy and my hands became completely numb. I can tell you that streptococcus G is so rare no one has ever seen it before. Because I was now an “interesting patient” doctors lined up outside my hospital room to examine me three at a time. Yet I never doubted I would make it.

The struggle I have waged with the complete and total support of my wife, Judy, daughter and son Shira and Ari, friends, and the team of docs Judy and I assembled resemble the dream team of the basketball players in the Olympics. They—the most thoughtful, problem solving, and, yes, creative group—kept me alive. They supported my irrational goal which is to completely recover EVERY faculty, regain ALL my strength, and honor my desire to ski again. Music becomes my therapy—by practicing instruments I can no longer feel because of neuropathy (nerve damage) I re-teach my brain physical sensation. But what is most amazing is the obdurate will that never questions that I will, with effort, get back. Call it Spirit.

Now that I—just when I am starting to feel better—broke my leg and can’t leave the house but feel relatively healthy I start playing the piano, which sits in my living room relatively tuned and sort of ready to play. Well I take three days to tune it myself by ear, then begin composing large pieces on it and on a midi-keyboard directly into Finale.

The first piece is basically honoring my desire to never fall again, which I entitle C# or Bb—See Sharp or Be Flat. But then I begin reading Rabbi David Cooper’s book about the Qabbala, God is a Verb. This re-introduces me to a previous lifetime of intense readings into Qabbala, The Egyptian Book of the Dead and The Tibetan Book of the Dead. All of which inspires me to compose another of my Jewish pieces, which I call, after my cousin Albert Einstein’s referent to God, The Old One. Here are the names of the five movements of The Old One: I Inception/The Mind of God; II Bridge; III Tree of Life/Qabbala; IV Bardo Thödol/Tibetan Book of the Dead; V The Old One.

I am beginning to ask more cosmic questions. Will I drop dead the second the last note is written? I don’t think so but my unconscious has already named the renaissance jazz orchestra the Accidental Orchestra. How do I make it to this point if not to write more music? And is this the final religious piece I compose? Or am going to record my choral piece inspired by a poem by Louisa Strouse Boiman, Forget Being Born Remembering, written when Judy and I moved into her father’s house to help him live with respect and comfort during the last seven months of his life? I have to think I am surviving for a reason and that reason is to compose music expressing my spiritual desire to understand the depths of the human spirit.

4th Stream Records, ERG 2013

INTERVALS: Michael Moss Billy Stein Duo

Creative restructuring of our planet appeals to my fellow musicians and me more than anything I can think of. Instead of putting the arts last, the arts should come first. Our country is the most creative country on earth and we have been going down the wrong path for years. It is time we restore arts programs, build new ones, buy art materials, musical instruments, pay arts educators well, and generally take advantage of the American gusto that has built up business and Free Play cover art so that the arts become a priority. I want to return to the days when Louis Armstrong was a musical emissary to Russia, when the Dance Touring Program brought dance to small colleges throughout the US and supported them on State Department Tours. I advocate doing the same for music and dance now and it is the major reason I am applying to American Music Abroad.


I wrote a doctoral dissertation on Intuition and Creativity so I have studied creativity scientifically. Creative forces are constructive, bring people together and solve all kinds of problems. Creativity takes on cultural forms, of course, and yet there is a universality which is expressed in the folk tradition. I see this tradition as part of World Music, World Beat, and folk music. Jazz is a form of urban folk music. Beginning in the ‘70s I began searching out and playing with musicians from around the world to learn from them and to use scales and meter that catch my ear. Now I want to reestablish cultural ties that have become frayed and politicized, bring creative people to the fore, give them credit, and put them in charge of things to establish unity and purpose in the arts and to make things peaceful and harmonic.

What is Urban: city. What is Folk: artistically cultural tradition of the city. What is music: aural organized sound expression. What is Urban Folk Music: A genre of world music inclusive of art forms gestated in the creative cauldron of seething anxiety and suffering artists express when coming into collaborative work wit other urban based musicians, dancers, hiphopsters, poets, performance artists, story tellers, ad infinitum of the city.

About the suffering of artists: Artists suffering—a subgenre—is the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual self or center of the universe singleton/singularity which spawns the music of our urban culture. Pain, angst, fear, sex, drugs, and espresso drive urban musicians to produce pop music, blues, rock, classical both ancient and current and especially jazz to play with ideas.

Without artists—dancers, performance artists, poets, musicians, graphic artists, painters, sculptors—there would be cultural expression restricted to the thinking, feeling, sensation Jungian functions—no intuitive, nonjudgmental creative thinking or feeling, extraverted or introverted attitudes. We as a group form a culture shared across spacetime in an archetypal collective conscious that when expressed represents our inner selves.

The subgenre of music has numerous sub sub genres nesting within and one of those, jazz, blues, and western music spikes, when musically expressed, represents our oral and aural mindful experiences which raise the abstractive and emotional aspects of the experience of the audience—live and analogue or virtual and digital.

Over the past 50 years we have played with many musicians in a plenitude of cities. Finally resting in New York City we nonetheless have cultural baggage of many cities. Going back to the source, I (Moss) more and more feel consciously the father archetype. I feel older than people around me. Up till my latest illness, I even felt young in all the facets and faces I wore. Yet plans have a way of changing with circumstance and I find myself in a more reflective mood. I spend a lot of time to myself, practicing for my return to interaction. There is a difference between process and performance wherein process produces practice and performance produces quick or slow notes. The process rather than the performance rules my existence though I am getting out.

Interestingly, when I (Moss) started playing the flute after a 3-month hiatus because I got a strep G blood infection called bacteremia that caused me to go into sepsis, my musical sensibility had reverted to a 16th/17th century preoccupation with 4ths and 5ths. I am working my way through the music until I hear once again 21st c. feelings and musical expressions, progressing into more facile note manipulation. As for performance I believe it is enough to play a note. Note/s is/are implied in the note so quantum superposition is the rule here. That is, Schrödinger’s implication that nothing is real until realized forces any improvising musician to open to the infinity of possibilities—this is the fun part.

I try not to prejudge New Age pronouncements. I wrote a dissertation on Intuition and Creativity which taught me a hypothetical deductive way to think about big questions. I try not to be judgmental in general because there are so many sides to everything and as a believer in the wealth of the unconscious and in the mysterious it is important to me to keep doors open so I can see as much as I can to think holographically, intuitively and creatively.  We know relatively nothing about the universe; Physics for me is a scientific method that helps me to analyze results of cosmic and, yes, spiritual questions.


In Einstein’s 1917 paper The Quantum Theory of Radiation, photons stimulate the emission of photons by striking and being absorbed by molecules and by raising energy to the point at which new photons are emitted, thus lowering the energy (coincidentally, the theory behind the MASER, LASER, and quantum entanglement) by utilizing the equivalence of mass and energy (e=mc2). This posits the existence of the light quantum, radical since photons were not recognized as yet by the physics community, hence the title. Einstein felt his theory had a weakness—he really wanted there to be a “union with wave theory” and found this to be the greatest weakness of the quantum theory of radiation. He is searching for something but cannot reach it. He knows there must be something about this that explains particle-wave duality but cannot come up with it utilizing the level of experimental knowledge of the time, and cannot therefore arrive at ways to experimentally verify what he intuitively “knows” is true.

Now (2014), a hundred years later, the gap is closed. New work ( suggests wave and particle duality are the equivalent of Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle in which there is a relative duality between position and momentum. That is, like particles vs. waves, position and momentum can only be measured separately—if one measures a particle’s position one can no longer measure it’s momentum–but are really identical.   Vice versa if one measures its position and knows where it is, how fast it is going can no longer be measured. This article states that they are relative—two sides of the same coin.  To put it bluntly, momentum and position are relative, just as space and time are relative and particle and wave are relative.

The equivalence principle founds much of Einstein’s later work and led to the generalization of the Special Theory of Relativity. It took from 1905 until 1916 to attain this goal in the Theory of General Relativity, which forced physics to relativize space and time. Now the principle of equivalence leads to a further relativisation—particle and wave are now relative not only to each other but to position and momentum. It took a century but Einstein was proven right again. What interests me is the implication that there might be a bridge here between quantum theory and relativity theory.

The implications of equivalence can immediately be applied to cryptology. What simple mathematical formula describes this four-part harmony between matter, energy, where that matter is, and how fast it is moving? With so many variables, we should be able to avoid anyone hacking into and stealing records of our credit cards because they are encrypted on so many levels. For me—leaving cryptologists to the Turing test—I ask the question: what simple mathematical formula describes this four-part harmony?            I sense we are approaching unity—the nexus of Einstein’s model of a macro universe and the Copenhagen school quantum theory of Bohr, Heisenberg, Pauli, and Schrödinger. This nexus fascinates me because I do not believe Einstein would have predicted it and neither would Heisenberg. This may throw light on whether or not Schrödinger’s cat is alive or dead.

Einstein’s quest for a unified theory extends: Kaluza-Klein theory adds a 5th dimension, string theory adds six more to that, and still there is no experimental proof that there is a 5th or an 11th dimension. The first—Kaluza-Klein— disappointed Einstein secondary to lack of data, and the second—string theory/M theory—disappoints a couple of generations of string theorists. What if the results of the classical double-slit experiment—the essential paradigm of particle-wave interaction—represent Einstein’s idea that both wave-particle and uncertainty theory are relative to one another? Well, they are, but only if measuring momentum or position are flip sides of the coin of the principle of uncertainty and there is an equivalence between this and wave-particle theory.

I visualize a multidimensional propagating wave whose particle manifestation can be measured either as velocity or position. It’s like one of the Star Trek movies came to life and you can beam up Captain Kirk. Add to this the relativity of space and time and I see the Tardis ripping through the fabric of the elegant universe.

Too bad the article I read skims the finding because, even though I AM NO MATHEMATICIAN, I’D LIKE TO SEE SOME FORMULAE. THE NEXT STEP IS THE FORMALIZATION OF THESE EQUIVALENCIES SO AS TO MAKE PREDICTIONS. THAT’S when the pedal hits the metal!

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