- When the facts change, I change my opinion. What do you do, sir? [attributed to John Maynard Keynes]
- A truly open mind means forcing our imaginations to conform to the evidence of reality, and not vice versa, whether or not we like the implications. [Lawrence Krauss, A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing (Atria Books, 2012), p. 139.]
- Bayesian reasoning promises to bring our views gradually into line with reality and so has become an invaluable tool for scientists of all sorts and, indeed, for anyone who wants, putting it grandiloquently, to sync up with the universe. If you are not thinking like a Bayesian, perhaps you should be. [Bayes’ theorem: Sharon Bertsch McGrayne, The Theory That Would Not Die: How Bayes’ Rule Cracked the Enigma Code, Hunted Down Russian Submarines and Emerged Triumphant From Two Centuries of Controversy (Yale University Press, 2011).]
- The vast majority of human beings dislike and even actually dread all notions with which they are not familiar . . . Hence it comes about that at their first appearance innovators have generally been persecuted, and always derided as fools and madmen. [Aldous Huxley]
Being open-minded requires an openness to many explanations.
- Ken Follett, Fall of Giants: Book One of the Century Trilogy (Dutton, 2010): "This is the book's main theme: the superiority of broad-mindedness and liberal thinking over unthinking adherence to the old ways . . ."
- David Quamenn, The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life (Simon & Schuster, 2018): “Genetics is revealing that the branches on Darwin’s tree of life are not so separate from each other as was once thought . . .”
- Norman Lear, Even This I Get to Experience (Penguin Press, 2014): “'Of all the characters I’ve created and cast, the one who resembles me most is Maude. That’s the character who shares my passion, my social concerns and my politics,’ he writes, adding, ‘Oh, and as important as all the rest combined, it was Maude who dealt best with the foolishness of the human condition because she knew herself to personify it. Oh, my Maude!'”
Technical and Analytical Readings
- Margaret Wilkinson, Changing Minds In Therapy: Emotion, Attachment, Trauma & Neurobiology (W.W. Norton & Company, 2010).
- Howard Gardner, Changing Minds: The Art and Science of Changing Our Own and Other People's Minds (Harvard Business Review Press, 2004).
- Jeremy W. Hayward, Shifting Worlds, Changing Minds: Where the Sciences and Buddhism Meet (Shambhala, 1987).
- Sharon Bertsch McGrayne, The Theory That Would Not Die: How Bayes’ Rule Cracked the Enigma Code, Hunted Down Russian Submarines and Emerged Triumphant From Two Centuries of Controversy (Yale University Press, 2011): “Bayesian reasoning promises to bring our views gradually into line with reality and so has become an invaluable tool for scientists of all sorts and, indeed, for anyone who wants, putting it grandiloquently, to sync up with the universe. If you are not thinking like a Bayesian, perhaps you should be.” [Bayes’ theorem]
- Video on open-mindedness
Documentary and Educational Films
- Salvador Dali, Invisible Bust of Voltaire (1941)
- Wassily Kandinsky, Farbstudie Quadrante (1913)
- Rembrandt van Rijn, Philosopher in Meditation (1632)
Music: Composers, artists, and major works
- The Köln concert
- Standards, trio with Gary Peacock and Jack Dejohnette
- Standards II, trio with Gary Peacock and Jack Dejohnette
- Organ solo in Stockholm, 1972
- Live in Paris, 1972
- Live in Molde, 1972
- Quartet in Hannover, 1974
- “Belonging Quartet” in Oslo, 1974
- Live in Freiberg, Germany, 1975
- Vermont solo, 1977
- Solo in Tokyo, December 12, 1978
- Live in Lille, France, 1981
- Solo concert, Tokyo, 1984
- Live at North Sea Jazz Festival, 1985
- Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, live in Troy, New York, 1987
- Solo in Madrid, 1988
- “Budapest Concert”
- various "classical" tracks
- The Art of Improvisation (documentary)
“Al-jiçç create original Mediterranean-inspired melodies from Jewish, Arab or Gypsy scales, which serve as a motto for modal or free improvisations in a contemporary rhythmic context.” This Portuguese band draws from jazz, Arabia, Gypsy, Jewish and other musical traditions. Their albums include:
Composers often revise their works. Here are some examples.
- Anton Bruckner, Symphony No. 3, WAB 103: 1873 version; 1877 version; 1889 version.
- Bruckner, Symphony No. 4, WAB 104, “Romantic”: 1874 version; 1880 version; 1889 version.
- Bruckner, Symphony No. 5 in B-flat Major, WAB 105: 1874 version; 1876 version; 1878 version; 1894 version.
- Bruckner, Symphony No. 8 in C Minor, WAB 108, “Apocalyptic”: 1887 version; 1890 version.
- Felix Mendelssohn, Symphony No. 4 in A Major, Op. 90, “Italian”: 1833 version; 1834 version. Guido Cantelli conducted both versions, here and here., as did John Elliot Gardiner.
- Mendelssohn, Symphony No. 5 in D Major/D Minor, Op. 107, “Reformation”: 1830 version; 1832 version.
- Robert Schumann, Symphony No. 4 in D Minor, Op. 120: 1841 version; 1851 version.
- Sergei Rachmaninoff, Piano Concerto No. 1 in F-sharp Minor, Op. 1: 1891 version; 1917 version.
- Rachmaninoff, Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Minor, Op. 40: 1926 version; 1941 version.
- Rachmaninoff, Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat Minor, Op. 36: 1913 version; 1931 version.
- Johannes Brahms, Piano Trio No. 1 in B Minor, Op. 8: 1854 version; 1889 version.
- Arnold Schoenberg, Verklarte Nacht, Op. 4: 1899 version; 1943 version.
An opera and an album of eclectic music:
- Szymanowski, King Roger, M55, Op. 24 (1924): a king comes to see religion in a new way
- TriBeCaStan’s “New Deli” album incorporates musical influences from “Western China, Cuba, Morocco, Uzbekistan and just about any and every where else.” The collaboration heard on this album could only have come about in an urban and cosmopolitan environment where people are keenly aware of other cultures and open to learning from them.
- Raga Shuddh Kalyan, an early evening Hindustani raag (performances by Ramnath, Kumar and Amonkar)
- Nordheim, Tenebrae, concerto for cello & orchestra (1980)
In 2021, jazz drummer Florian Arbenz began recording a series of albums with musicians representing a wide spectrum of musical (mainly jazz) perspectives. “The thread that joins them all together is his fascination with bringing visionary musicians together and giving them space to express themselves in his studio.”
- Florian Arbenz, Hermon Mehari & Nelson Veras, “Conversation #1: Condensed” (2021) (42’), “brings together two fellow musicians whose rhythmic concept, harmonic vision and open-minded playing take the listener on a journey which ranges from hard-swinging solos and free improvisations to dreamy soundscapes and, at times, brings to mind influences such as Don Cherry, Steve Coleman & Paul Motian.”
- Florian Arbenz & Greg Osby, “Conversation #2: Oracle” (2021) (32’): “Oracle creates a musical interaction that brings the listener into their own private conversation.”
- Florian Arbenz, Jim Hart & Heiri Känzig, “Conversation #3: Neologism” (2021) (30’): “The musicians create a modern sound that has a unique and appealing quality.”
- Florian Arbenz, Conversation #5: Elemental” (2022) (41’): “An improvised exploration of the realm between jazz and classical chamber music, the ensemble’s sophisticated and open-minded sound is equally comfortable in either world.”, “
- Florian Arbenz & Kirk Lightsey, “Conversation #6: Radix” (2022) (33’): “The players are free to wander as they wish and it’s their own creative ingenuity that makes or breaks the performance.”
- Florian Arbenz, Kirk Lightsey, Domenic Landolph & Tibor Elekes, “Conversation #7: Synopsis” (2022) (44’): “Reminds me of being on a roller coaster cresting the top and the excitement you feel just before you descend. ”
- Florian Arbenz, Wolfgang Pusching & Jorge Vistel, “Conversation #8: Ablaze” (2022) (44’): “It’s adventurous music.”
- Roger Kellaway, “The Many Open Minds of Roger Kellaway”
- Jambinai, “ONDA”: “When the three founders of Jambinai decided to, ‘communicate with the ordinary person who doesn't listen to Korean traditional music,’ few outsiders anticipated an extra-ordinary fusion with metal, post-rock and noise. ‘Most people expect Asian traditional music to make something smooth for yoga or meditation,’ says band spokesman Lee Il-woo. 'We wanted to break all of that.'” Their other ground-breaking albums are equally compelling, for the same reasons: “a Hermitage” and “Differance”.
- Kyungso Park describes her album “Dung-tta” as “an extremely contemporary approach to the Gayageum sound; this album also provided a few unexpected twists and turns, consciously pushing the creative envelope while remaining faithful to... 'tradition.'”
- Third Coast Percussion, “Perspectives”: “Award winning Third Coast Percussion presents an album exploring the myriad ways that classical music is being created today. Perspectives features four new works, each a world premiere recording, written for — and with — Third Coast Percussion by Danny Elfman, Philip Glass, Jlin, and Flutronix.”
- Jon Balke, “Discourses”: through the solo piano’s voice, the subject thinks it over – and over and over. “Jon Balke’s unique solo work blurs distinctions between composition, improvisation and sound design as Discourses further develops the methodology introduced with the Norwegian pianist’s Warp album. Integrated in the resonant sound of his piano music are 'layered soundscapes' of processed material which Balke describes as 'distorted reflections and reverberations from the world.' Underpinning the project are some thoughts about language, and the notion of discourse and dialogue as fading concepts in an era of confrontational rhetoric.”
Among twenty snowy mountains, / The only moving thing / Was the eye of the blackbird.
I was of three minds, / Like a tree / In which there are three blackbirds.
The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds. / It was a small part of the pantomime.
A man and a woman / Are one. / A man and a woman and a blackbird / Are one.
I do not know which to prefer, / The beauty of inflections / Or the beauty of innuendoes, / The blackbird whistling / Or just after.
Icicles filled the long window / With barbaric glass. / The shadow of the blackbird / Crossed it, to and fro. / The mood / Traced in the shadow / An indecipherable cause.
O thin men of Haddam, / Why do you imagine golden birds? / Do you not see how the blackbird / Walks around the feet / Of the women about you?
I know noble accents / And lucid, inescapable rhythms; / But I know, too, / That the blackbird is involved / In what I know.
When the blackbird flew out of sight, / It marked the edge / Of one of many circles.
At the sight of blackbirds / Flying in a green light, / Even the bawds of euphony / Would cry out sharply.
He rode over Connecticut / In a glass coach. / Once, a fear pierced him, / In that he mistook / The shadow of his equipage / For blackbirds.
The river is moving. / The blackbird must be flying.
It was evening all afternoon. / It was snowing / And it was going to snow. / The blackbird sat / In the cedar-limbs.
[Wallace Stevens, “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”]
- Megha Majumdar, A Burning: A Novel (Knopf, 2020): each of three characters knows something the others do not, and sees events in a different way from theirs.