Friday, October 31, 2014

"Time Regained"

This is the title of Book VII of Proust's masterwork, In Search of Lost Time in its more recent translation.  Because that work has been seminal in shaping my life and my work I go back from time to time to refresh my relationship to it.

Tonal Refraction, my work on visualizing subjective aspects of tone perception, is named for Proust's use of the word "refraction," to refer to what happens to sensory memory as it is altered by the many subconscious forces that make us who we are.  Are they distortions or are they rather evidence of life as defined by constant change?  Who is to say?

I am looking specifically for references to the hidden dimension of time that is so real to people with sensitive perception systems: the dimension that goes by so rapidly and yet seems so intensely enlarged as it is happening: the nanoseconds during which musicians adjust their tuning, their timing, their orientation to everything past and present even while producing sound: the quality that can keep you on the edge of your chair.
Probably the kind of time to which Goethe was referring in his great line about time: "Verweile, doch, du bist so schoen."  (Rough translation: Please stay with me, you are so beautiful.)