Monday, February 3, 2014

Swimming in Sound

Being a swimmer, the analogy between water and sound has always seemed obvious to me.  I work out in a pool in which the difference of one foot in depth alters completely the efficacy of my exercise routine.

The analogy came up this morning in introducing a student to the sound world of Chopin, whose complete immersion in the sound of the piano is so unique and so compelling. We were beginning work on the F# major Prelude.  Immediately the subtle connection between the first two eighth notes in the left hand determines the tempo and the timing of many subsequent bars.

Slow is necessary in order to savor the connection, to allow it to affect the precise timing of what comes next or rather, of what gets added into it.  It is amazing how physical and how natural that "slow" feels when the ear is fully involved.