Friday, October 24, 2014

How Can You Hear Afresh a Piece You Know Inside and Out?

The critical words are "inside" and "out".  If music is real only as measured by scientific instruments or as captured thus made inert by recording devices, then good luck.  But if the inner clock by which we live, breathe, and have our being is allowed to influence our mode of listening then it will be impossible to hear the "same" music twice the same way. 

Hearing is, after all, alive.  Let's keep it that way.  Best way I know?  Buy a bell, not a big one, just one of those little brass Indian bells.  Hang it somewhere where you will brush against it from time to time and let it take you by surprise.  We have a small collection of such bells which we used to hang as ornaments on the Christmas tree.  How the children loved unpacking them and hearing them ring!

Some of them eventually lost their clappers.  One of those muted bells sits on a shelf in my bathroom.  Every time I look at it I hear it.  That's music.