Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sound and Theory: Vive la Difference!

This morning I had occasion yet again to taste the difference between sound processed directly and sound explained a priori by theoretical concepts.  My student hears without conceptual interference; I hear always with conceptual interference.  The difference is revealing.

The reason to hear with theoretical concepts interceding is that it saves time.  But note that the time saved is superficial time, inconsequential in the grander scheme of things.

And what is that grander scheme?  Attentiveness.

The music in question was a Bartok setting of a folk song from For Children, the two brilliant volumes he made for his sons.  This is Bartok at his very best, with every detail directed specifically to developing ears of the deepest love and affection as opposed to an anonymous public clamoring for more, more: more notes, more speed, more bravura.

Every connection, every note put in or left out became a moment of deepest intention on the part of all three of us:  the student, myself, and Bartok.