17 april 2012 – 5

En låt som påminner dig om någon lyder nästa punkt i låtutmaningen. Hur kan någon annan än Carl Manlio få den här platsen? Ljudet är inte av den bästa kvalitén, men jag tycker verkligen om hans improvisation… Hans egna ord om den kommer under videon.

 

This introductory fragment of an improvisation is actually the beginning of a trill and tremolo (really the same thing, most of the time, in my view) exercise. For me, all exercises must be just that – something that exercises skills. But what kind of skills are we talking about, then? The great musician Vladimir Horowitz said, ”[To possess a good technique is to be able to express what you want to say.]” We are talking about the skill, then, to express something with music and the piano. Thus, you need a _message_ to communicate, before one can even talk about embarking on a musical exercise! In this particular case, with the uploaded performance, the message was to be communicated partly with trills and tremolos. So I did something roughly in Spanish style, and made sure that the tremolos did not become an obstacle to the materialization of that desire, but rather a vehicle for it. 

The idea to do something Spanish-sounding actually came, for some reason, only a second or so after starting the trill, but that matters not; one should welcome such ”inspired” moments, especially if they are particularly unexpected, since every performance will depend on them, or on adaptability, that it can often also be called, or regarded as. Eventually, after having assimilated this approach profoundly enough, it will never be a problem to cope with being forced to begin without a very specific idea (like during chamber music recitals, for instance, where it is impossible to always be in the same mood, all mutually synchronized, from that moment just prior to commencing the performance) because one has learned to be open to the constant arrival of new solutions, literally ”on the fly”. 

Piano students of the world, please never make the mistake of disconnecting ”technique” from ”message”, at least not for too many moments. They are one and the same and come – quite mysteriously; people have become religious after making far lesser observations – from the same divine source within, at least if one limits the discussion to what we can refer to as high-level, or proper playing. Starting to disconnect parts from one another can become a very expensive mistake and can cause damage that can never be mended. Use every second with the instrument to practice to merge with it, to become one with the sound, to let the sound continuously inspire and otherwise affect your conception of what you wish to express; use every moment to learn to adapt to the sound around you, to use the emotions inside you that particular day, the vibrations between you and the audience and all else that you can perceive. In this particular regard (but certainly not all others!), make the difference between ”practice” and ”performance” as small as possible, which is reasonable also for the simple reason that so much less time is spent on stage than elsewhere – and one does not want to enter stage unprepared, right…

[Draft written while my tea was brewing; will probably be rewritten.]

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