Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sunday afternoon I heard a performance that illustrated beautifully my point about chickens and eggs. This was a young string quartet -- clearly nice people, unpretentious yet serious in a very convincingly youthful way. There were no flaws in their work. None, really. Except that the first violinist played, from time to time, ever so slightly out of tune with the others. Okay: I can attribute that to the adrenaline of being the leader.

But there were no moments of real fusion inside of the sound. The drama was all technical, not native to the instruments or the compositions.

As the elderly gentleman seated with me put it: Too much drama; not enough heart." I maintain that the "heart" part is what children dream about. I certainly had vivid childhood dreams about musical elements, very specific elements--also nightmares. Their power has lasted a lifetime: indeed, has sparked a lifetime of curiosity and intent pursuit of its underlying mystery.