Saturday, December 6, 2008
As the late Gertrude Stein once wrote: "Use your ears as your eyes"... this very sentence, apparently senseless, make a world of sense, indeed.
A sound and music lover since short-legged trousers years, I always - first in a naive way, later more consciously - applied it.
I'm an eyeglass wearing guy, but ears and nose have always been my world interfaces of choice, needing no outer supports.
What I do is sooo simple: when I have a walk with my dog or sit reading on a park bench, when I'm at a concert or when I'm playing myself, mostly alone, I try to differentiate sounds, layers of sounds... from the lower to the higher pitched, from the subtlest to the loudest... then every sound is sort of analyzed, weighted, considered, appreciated or blamed... the wind different noises, the grass, the leaves, the birds, the different birds singing, a burglar... how far is it? Cars and trucks, while in the park... where are them: north or south? Church bells... what church is it? How many times do them rang?
Is the harpsichord on the stage tuned at A440 or A415? Do you hear the soprano breathing, at the concert or through your music system? What heard my dog, when it raised its ears? How did it... my wife's car, how the hell, as I didn't heard nothing?!? Yes, dogs reach higher frequencies and, maybe, level of attention but... now, I'm able to hear my wife's car engine, down in the street... my dog - with its attention - taught it to me;-)
Do all the above make sense? IMO, YES... it's care for Life and what happens around. Sound or music, it's not different... it's like wearing a blinding, dark-lenses eyeglasses or earpads... it ALWAYS makes a world of difference living (trying to reach) the 100% of our essence. Mine is like I described... my fault, my strength?!? Who knows?
Is it tiring? Fatiguing? Music unfriendly?
Would you define a clever chap cleverly running his healthy three miles a day? ... or anyone having a daily walk of at least half an hour, the very minimum for heart good health, as "body enemies" or "fanatics"? Or people appreciating the smell of a forest, while trekking, calling'em "nature foes" or "lunatics"?
No, of course...
This very practice, which, like every skill must be cultivated to improve at its best, is among the best Zen-like techniques a motivated music lover and/or musician should explore and learn, period!
When I listen to music, I concentrate on all melodic lines, different timbres, harmonic complexities or easiness, and it's such a joy to enter in a sort of sonic fabric, appreciating, feeling, absorbing down to the tiniest debris of sound and music. I know I'm not alone at doing this and everyone has his approach... this is mine.
When audiophiles listen to "the sound of cables" or "the sound of tubes", they're sure making a sincere, yet limited, effort to listen to the ineffable, to the tiny details of life... only calling this "miracle" with the wrong name;-)
... but, please believe me, as a complete beginner isn't able to listen to hidden details and differences in instruments tone and best recordings, so deeply & properly "feeling" the music, not only "listening to" it as a pleasant noise, everyone's able to reach such a level of "attention" with dedication and passion: through meditation & mind self-cleaning and... yes: Ear Gym.
Posted by twogoodears at 12/06/2008 02:53:00 PM