Original Image by Noah Freidman-Rudosky for the New York Times | Photo Composite

Lithium Salt Flats, Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

the becoming and disappearance of sense


my first visceral connection to art was about age 8 midst classical training on the piano--when i first conceived of the composer beethoven as a man, in the ordinary sense, as a human with one life--with many struggles, joys, but simply one man with one life--i felt this stirring of what a human can give with one life. as with any composer with a body of work, when playing his/her work you feel their person and devotions through the choices of themes, progressions, even hand placement [rachmaninoff crossing thumbs in prelude c sharp minor] 
this manner of thinking and playing brought me into a more intimate conversation on the one life, on being human, with each composer--these were my earliest discussions on art--and given that the composers were, well, dead--my imagination, my interpretation of these wordless discussions shaped me deeply and with no obvious arguments rooted singularly as foundations of my own compositions. 

decades later, in my brooklyn studio, when listening to classical piano and thinking back to the richness of gray given from such black and white keys--i would await certain pieces, memories from childhood. when the ninth symphony would play, i wondered what it would have been to be seated in the k√§rntnertortheater in vienna palpated with expectation of beethovens ninth--an anticipation built from his 10-12 year absence on stage, and although it was a premiere, there was no plan for a second performance. there was no way to record it or share or post it other than with one's own body, every available sense to absorb it as memory--a visceral memory, held within the body, shaping the self--
with the body as recorder, the memory dissolves with its device.

the function and question of memory and investigation of the senses in a culture where physical presence is no longer required to participate in an event evolves our definition of being human. perhaps other senses are becoming as others weaken--senses remain our reality makers and define our depth of presence and continue as points of departure and return with my work.