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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Reaching the core - where music begin

Is music living and originating from the inside of a violin or in the brain cells of a composer or a musician?

Is it measurable when still on paper sheet or is only "music" when played?

Does it own same power when hummed while reading at music sheet or is it only blossoming in full orchestral magniloquence?

Is it by chance the little wooden stick which "connects" a violin back and top-soundboard is called a "soul"?

... and at home, is a Buxtehude's harpsichord sonata only to be played in a Versailles-like room or is it good enough while gardening, in the springtime?

Can a theatre enhance any given music and concert?

Same... can a "good" recording venue enhance any given music and record?

... and what about our listening room, at home?

My direct experience in better understanding music and its misteries was greatly improved after I visited the following "special" places:

La Scala - Milan
Concertgebouw - Amsterdam
Kingsway Hall - London (now an impressive Maxonic house)
Carnegie Hall (old and new) - NYC
Mariinsky (Kirov) - St. Petersburg
Sofiensaal - Wien (closed to public but used for recording)
Berlin Philarmonia - Berlin
Wigmore Hall - London
La Fenice - Venice
Notre Dame de Liban - Paris
Tokyo Bunka Kaikan - Tokyo
Salle Pleyel - Paris
Royal Albert Hall - London

... plus several, countless, less flashy/famous theatres and churches in Italy and... ALL these places have their very own character adding it to any given music played and performed there.

Call me monsieur De Lapalisse;-)))

I visited the above "temples" in a time spanning three decades or so, and - NOT during a concert - I always played the fool doing, if possible, two well defined "noises" - a loud "stomp" with a foot AND a whistle or a single hand-clap... to someway understand the place, its decay and acoustics and, someway, say hello to the noble walls;-)

The "reply" was always different to the previous and to the next.

Again, when I had the chance to attend to a concert in one of the above mentioned venues, the music was felt like a whole - i.e. music interacting with audience and room and me, the listener.

Nor myself neither others in the audience were - I bet it - thinking about fabric covering seats, stage wood or other down-to-earth facts...

"Only" music, straight and powerful...

Very same must happen at home, folks.

If the mind is going to the glowing of tubes or to the cables, music is down-scaled to a by-product of an audio-system... double-basses and tympanis aren't food for our woofers, BUT a precisely chosen colour used by composer and his palette to underline a passage or define a climax.

Our ears, while attending to a concert, are - simply - the best mikes on Earth and this sensation of "Dawn of Hearing", unbiased, pure should be the VERY goal to persue and reach... at home, as well.

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