Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Experiment in Programming: Already a Success

Having played my first free-association program two weeks ago I have received direct evidence of its success: One listener, who had not previously heard me play, was haunted by the first piece on the program, enough so that she looked it up to find that the extended program note furnished by her research entirely backed up the sensations she had had as "just" a listener.

This is remarkable in every respect.  Not least is my reluctance to get information about a composition as a substitute for getting the composition.  I want to play what is directly present in the music, not filtered by any concepts or named emotions or states of being.

If the composer has done his or her job the content will be clear, not necessarily right away, but eventually, depending on the readiness of the player and audience to receive it.  Sometimes it takes the energy of player and audience combined to reveal the content, in which case, so much the better for all concerned.

The composition in question was by Brahms, composed when he was 18.