Malaria and Music
My cousin Stephen and his wife, Kim Lee, are scientists, and they’ve developed a malaria vaccine that may one day save millions of lives. It’s taken them years of intense effort and many disappointments along the way, but the results could one day change the world. And what do I do? I play music… Wars rage and diseases spread, all over the world, and I play music. Sometimes I feel like Nero – fiddling while Rome burns. Then again… I like to believe that for most people, and except for those in the very direst of circumstances, the purpose of life is not simply to stay alive. And the riches that music has to offer, whether in times of great sorrow or great joy, are both incalculable and irreplaceable. “Without music,” said Nietzsche, “life would be a mistake.” I comfort myself by believing Nietzsche was right, and when I actually try to imagine a world, or a life, without music, I know he was right.
A Minute with Miles is a production of South Carolina Public Radio, made possible by the J.M. Smith Corporation.