Monday, November 26, 2012

Night Tram

If you read the comments here at kolokolo, you will already have met Robbie, from Tone Deaf. He's an excellent writer and the type of editor who can nudge a person into straightening up a bit of prose by simply quirking an eyebrow. He also inspires me to keep thinking (and sometimes writing) about music.

Today on Tone Deaf, he wrote about Elliot Carter's Double Concerto - a puzzling piece to listen to the first time round. I found a Youtube recording and thought about it for the rest of the day, wondering if I could possibly articulate why it winds up working.

Then on the way to choir tonight, reflections in the tram window caught my eye. Just for a snap shot of a moment, I realized that this is the way I see Carter's music - layers of sound (or image) that are not designed to respond to each other, but that, if we listen long enough (or look at hard enough) unravel from each other and begin to make sense, and then (because we're human and we make connections even if there aren't any to be made) come back together again into something that we can hear (or see) as a whole.

Tomorrow - back to the everyday, I promise! In the meantime, a picture hint - look for the cross walk.


Rouchswalwe said...

Wow! Maybe there's a chance for me to finally be able to read music!

Dilys said...

That's a terrific photo! I love anything about light, and what is music but light made into sound complete with shadows to give it definition!

Roderick Robinson said...

Crosswalk? Pah! That's a zebra crossing. I mean it's not a zebra crossing the road but a crossing for pedestrians called a zebra because of its stripiness.

And have you heard of our sleeping policemen? Some people call them speed bumps, which is admittedly shorter. But every nationality I've explained our (admittedly longer) phrase to has been charmed. Even the French.

Listen often enough - that seems to be the back-of-an-envelope recommendation. But as is always the case with music, there's a complication. You've got to want to do all that listening. But how can that be with a piece of music you've never heard before? Just going round for a double Wild Turkey at our local pub, The Diminished Seventh.

The verb "to quirk" - something new every day.

Julia said...

Rouchswalwe, if you really want to learn to read music, it's not that hard to get the very basics down. One easy way to think about it is that if you turn the music sideways, you'll see the notes almost as they correspond to a keyboard.

Dilys, light is a wave after all, so you make a good point.

Robbie, I have heard of sleeping policemen, and always thought the name well chosen because just thinking it makes me slow down.

Rouchswalwe said...

Thank you for that tip, Julia!