Monday, July 14, 2014

Reflections on Sound and Newness

This is probably the essence of the difficulty facing all music and all musicians of our time:  we have heard it all before.  The roses, as T.S. Eliot so beautifully put it, have the air of having been looked at.

We have become jaded by over-exposure.  What now passes for music in no way resembles actual music, in the way that a canned green bean (but who is old enough to remember those affronts to nature?) bears little resemblance to the real thing.

I remember traveling with my young children in France.  The first day they couldn't eat the tomatoes:
"They don't taste like tomatoes," was their objection.  It is the similar problem when I invite people to hear the piano played close up in the chamber, as the music is supposed to be heard, not separated by a half-block of sound absorbing people and stuff.

It must all ideally be heard for the first time, no matter how familiar.

When are music teachers going to wise up to the necessity of incorporating that freshness into every child's instructions for daily playing?