You are the music while the music lasts. T.S. Eliot
I once heard a masterclass in which the artist teacher spoke about the necessity of memorizing the choreography of the piece as well as the notes. I confess that, prior to that class, I hadn’t thought much about choreography of music – except in relationship to dance. But since then, I have thought about it a great deal.
And recently, in an extraordinary concert by pianist Jeremy Denk and violinist Stefan Jackiw , choreography of the music took on new meaning. It is rare to witness a performance in which you feel as though you are actually “seeing” the music itself – not just hearing it – but experiencing a performance in which the performer actually becomes the music in some indefinable way. Continue reading →
I hate to admit it, but I played the electronic game Simon for years before I realized it was possible to play it by the colors, not by the pitches. I knew the red, blue, yellow, and green buttons each corresponded to a certain pitch and flashed when that pitch sounded, but it simply never occurred to me to remember the sequences by color. For me, the game wasn’t visual, it was auditory – I memorized the pitch sequences. I still remember my amazement when I learned that it could be played by color, not sound. Continue reading →
Imagine being Brahms in 1889 and being the first composer/performer to be able to hear a recording of your own playing, as well as hearing your own voice. Granted, the quality of the wax cylinder was terrible, but hearing a piano performance coming from a machine, rather than producing it yourself or seeing it being produced by another person, must have felt a bit disembodied. Music, after all, had always been about a person using movement to create sound. Continue reading →