Thursday, July 3, 2014

Multiple Intelligences, OK. But All At The Same Time?

The answer is, simply, yes.  All at the same time.

Looking over the examples of Tonal Refraction visualization that I will present at the International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition in Seoul in a few weeks, the most stunning example of all was done 17 years ago by a 7 year-old who is still studying with me.  Every once in a while he comes up on this blog.

Today we had a chat about that example, about his remembering producing it but not recalling that he used a range of pinks and reds to show the five white keys of this decidedly modal melody, implying that he would do it differently were he to do it today.

So would I.  I never hear a piece of music the same way twice and that is what is wrong with recordings : they lead people to believe that hearing something the same way twice is what defines music.  On the contrary!

So back to multiple intelligences: Admitting the relevance of the graphic mind to the study of music has been central, I am convinced of it, to our continuing to work together, this young man and myself: he, now a computer graphics professional and I a concertizing pianist.

The Beethoven he is working on right now reminded me of Rembrandt's The Night Watch, a splendid painting in which the action takes place in the background.  This always fascinated me.  This is what happens in the Moonlight Sonata when the Alberti figure in the last movement becomes the subject.  He spotted it, by the way, last week when he noticed its use in "the wrong" hand.