Saturday, October 6, 2012

More on Fast, Faster

For the past 19 years I have been applying the sense of Tonal Refraction in my playing and my teaching.  To my surprise, this is what I have found:

The act of listening is so fast that as both player and listener I can hear intention as well as actual sounds.  This action between the notes, as Victor Zuckerkandl so brilliantly described it in Sound and Symbol is what turns sounds into music.  His work, a huge revelation when I read it in the 1960's, provided the basis for my life as a musician. 

In order to listen this quickly I have had to slow myself down.  It is a question of forest and trees: The notes were getting in the way of the music.  My conscious mind was missing the point.

Tonal Refraction provided a reliable means of getting the point by forcing me to depict the many dimensions of sound, one vibration at a time.

Listening this way has deepened my insights into the music I play and the music I listen to.  It makes it possible for me to relate to the labored playing of a less than fluent student--often the one who really wants and needs affirmation of their deeply musical being.

You can find out more about Tonal Refraction on my website, which will soon be remodeled; or by contacting me.