Thursday, January 22, 2015

Music and the Body

The program note for this month:s Mixed Bag

Linking music to the body is a hot topic among music theorists; much attention is paid to “embodied cognition” by neuroscientists.   Anyone attending a performance by a young(ish) string quartet will see ample (perhaps too much) evidence of body movement.

I confess I do not understand what the fuss is about, as all of music is generated by the physical reality of sound and of sound perception.  The body parts that interest me, however, are not visible to the ordinary eye: they are the 32,000 vibrating sensor-tipped hair cells in our inner ears, 16,000 on each side, transmitting information to the brain 200 times faster than any other sense perception.* My bodily involvement with music takes the very real form of chasing those vibrations.

My purpose in performing to small groups of listeners in these privileged circumstances is to invite you to join me in the chase, not always at fast tempos, but therefore all the faster inside.

A word about my CDs: They were all recorded in this room, for an audience like yourselves, and produced with state-of-the-art mikes and mastering, but no editing.  They are thus entirely different from commercial recordings - a bit like taking this evening home with you.

*As measured by James Hudspeth, Rockefeller University