Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sensing and Knowing

Recently there has been some attention in the media on the phenomenon whereby animals, including humans, react physiologically to imminent threats (the presence of a rattlesnake, for example) before knowing consciously what the threat actually is.  Sensing precedes knowing.

The process of Tonal Refraction exposes that moment in playing, that nano-second during which we feel that the sound we are about to make is going either to hurt or elate us and we adapt our touch to reflect that feeling.  This, I am convinced, is the basis of artistry at the instrument.  It has nothing to do with interpretation, since interpretation involves conscious decisions.  It is immediate, sensual, and completely transparent.

I have seen young children experience this moment, hovering over the decision as to when to actually play the offending interval.

I have seen adults hesitate to make the first sound at a lesson; by their hesitation I can tell that they are anticipating playing on their own out-of-tune piano. 

Do you find this incredible?  Please let me know.