Monday, September 24, 2012


A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of hearing a harpsichord master class by Skip Sempe.  At one point he said that of course players of the late Renaissance period (Frescobaldi, Castello, etc. ) would not have played the same meter at the same time with both hands.  This struck me as self-evident: aren't keyboardists  like babies who want to wriggle every extremity at once?  During my many years as an organist I was often inspired by this physiological observation.  But when I shared Sempe's insight with a former student, now a Ph.D., he wanted me to cite a source.

My embodied imagination is the only source I require, my desire to move in every way imaginable to match the variability of what goes on inside of brain and body.

This perhaps epitomizes the difference between the scholar and the artist.  Knowing I would be tempted to pin it down like a captured butterfly kept me out of graduate school and at the piano.