Saturday, September 15, 2012

Boredom and the Heads of Pins

Yesterday my attention was drawn to a TED talk the subject of which was whether classical music is boring.  The speaker's strategy was to reduce what was happening to the smallest possible number of events so that they could be grasped and recalled, invoking the AABA' model so fundamental to MuzApp.

My goal is exactly the opposite: to make the listener feel the urgency of so many vibrations all at once that a kind of animal attentiveness takes over, going beyond conscious awareness or any sense of having already been there and done that.

I am reminded of my easily bored ten-year-old student who picked up my pedal technique simply by falling in love with it.  When she played her little study of broken chords it was magical from beginning to end.  One day she came and played it with traditional pedal technique, changing a full pedal at every barline.  "What happened?"

"The teacher at school said I could play it at the assembly if I pedaled that way." 

She soon lost interest in the piece.  How can you stay interested in one sound per bar when there are potentially an infinite number of sounds per bar?

How many angels fit on the head of a pin?