Friday, February 19, 2010

Taking the notion of imitation even further: A concert of new compositions prompts me to notice that dots on paper are not even close imitations of sound, yet it is clear that some composers treat them as though they are. When there is no discernible relationship between the symbols and the sound I think it is fair to make the question explicit.

Even in cases where the performance is not totally successful a listener can hear moments when the sound-sense of the work penetrates to the player's ear. The result is a moment, however fleeting, of real music.

Probably the most difficult aspect of playing new music is to detect its wit. We risk taking the whole business far too seriously.