Friday, October 11, 2013

Listening for Meaning

Most of the discussions about meaning in music have to do with the theoretical life of tone outside of the perceiving sensibility.  This yields such nonsensical words as "heroic," "pastoral," etc. while entirely ignoring the essence of the matter.

Listening itself imparts meaning.  We are not trained to listen, however; therefore the realm of sound remains opaque, superficial, lacking in depth.

The depth is a function of immersion and there is no end to that.  To experience that requires, however, that we get beneath the surface of the sound (see post of August 3, 2013) and taste from close-up the friction, the infinite variability of the sounds themselves and of our responses.

The trouble is multiplied by the fact that many performers, trained to be heard from a distance, have themselves lost the ability to hear close-up; distance has become the standard of the classical recording industry and now of musical training.  No flaws please. No signs of fragility or vulnerability allowed.

All backpacks subject to search without warning.