When I compose music, I compose in the Norwegian, and not in the English way. That means I am materialistically, not idealistically oriented. I have no idea what I am doing. There is no frame clear to me in which I will put content, and I have no notion of the whole. What I have, is a certain feeling of direction inherent in the composing act. In Norwegian we have a word for this. We call it “peiling”, meaning clue or bearing. The word, I believe, is taken from the sea, from the act of taking direction on a ship in the old days. It is not an idea. It is a feeling of worth.
Since I have no idea, it is obvious also to the listener of the music that the idea of the work cannot be grasped. The work can only be enjoyed by the harmony and the outcome. The outcome saves it from being an affectionate work. By the outcome there is as if there was an intent.
But I believe there is a development in the history of man, where he goes from being materialistically to idealistically oriented. With practise, I will get an idea of what I am doing. I will go from faith to hope. I will be a master.
The question is if it is possible, then, to go the other way around, that is to start with the idea, learn it, and become an expert without having been through the educational process. The question is if it is possible to start with the idea and let it be current or valid in a work, that is to make it applicable, without being artificial doing so.