Charlie: What is your own purpose in writing music?
Paul: That's a really good question.
What is my purpose to writing music is very similar to the question "what is music for and why do we even have it?" It doesn't feed us or hold our buildings up, it doesn't do anything apparent for us. But, I have an idea about it.
I think that our human brains are big messes. They're a product of a lot of very recent evolution that's still kind of in progress. Jumbled together putting on the facade of actually working beautifully together.
But it's kind of a mess to have both that lizard part of your brain working its was up Maslow's hierarchy and having social relationships and having human curiosity and having just our insatiable desire to see patterns.
We love meaning even when there is none to be found.
All of this is rattling around in our heads and it means that being human and being conscious can be a very demanding and difficult thing. And I think the purpose of art in general, but especially of music which is so abstract is that music both articulates and aids just the process of being conscious and alive.
It teaches us how to think and feel, not in a moralistic way, but it says "you're inhabiting a mind, what are you gonna to do about that?"
And music teaches us how to do it. It teaches us how to deal with tension and release, and expectation and emotions of every kind including ones we don't have words for. And finding patterns and losing patterns.
It takes all of the messy experience of all the different aspects of consciousness that we struggle with, and puts them in a package that we can deal with. That's orderly, and beautiful, and says "here's a thing that's a reflection of your consciousness that's beautiful, that actually works."
And by beautiful, I don't necessarily mean pretty and sunshiny. By beautiful I mean it's right, it's balanced. It has a kind of order to it, even if by beautiful I might mean something that's very dark and tense and dissonant. That there's a beauty in that when it's just so.
It lets us encounter the difficult parts of having a mind and deal with them in a way that's safe and constructive and helpful.
So, I guess I would say in brief, the point of me writing music my purpose is music therapy, for myself and for others. It's to help us all deal with being human. Because good lord look at the planet, we could all use some help with that.