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Thread: Watching Music

  1. #16
    Senior Member Chrythes's Avatar
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    This made me feel better about sometimes imagining myself conducting or players playing their instruments while listening to music.
    I guess I just try to perceive all the sounds, and it helps to have clear "imagined" sound representations.

    But then again, sometimes I experience sceneries or images, sometimes emotions and sometimes the music seems to range from being totally "flat surfaced" (I don't mean musically shallow, but visually) to sharp as spikes. And even sometimes I can associate colours with certain pieces.
    I haven't found any tendencies or what exactly in those pieces provoke different imagined visual experiences, but it truly adds to the listening experience.
    Last edited by Chrythes; Jan-31-2012 at 02:18.

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  3. #17
    Senior Member CypressWillow's Avatar
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    I once had an experience while at a performance (by Arthur Rubinstein) which made an indelible impression. I was thinking that Chopin is my favorite composer, the piano is my favorite instrument, and Rubinstein is my favorite pianist. So I closed my eyes in order to savor the moment more intensely.

    When I opened them again, I could see a shimmering light connecting Rubinstein and the piano, a circle that connected them, a glowing connection between the instrument, the composer, and the pianist.

    It was only that one time, and it remains as vivid for me today as it was all those many years ago.
    "If I follow the dictates of my government, I will be violating the dictates of my god."
    -Chiune Sugihara

    "Were my Maker to grant me but a single glance through these sightless eyes of mine, I would, without question or recall, choose to see first a child, then a dog."
    -Helen Keller, quoted by Dr. Andy Mathis

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  5. #18
    Senior Member JeffD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EarthBoundRules View Post
    How can the mind's eye see the beautiful images sparked by the music if your eyes are focused on saliva dripping out of trumpets and sweaty hands plucking strings? I prefer to listen to music in a dark room and pretend I'm floating in a sea of nothingness, awaiting for the music to paint it's own landscape in front of my eyes.
    Yes this.

    The cognitive dissonance of listening to that beautiful ethereal oboe melody floating high above, and to watch a singularly unattractive fellow with a red bloated face and neck, forcing all that air between those two little reeds.
    How did I become a senior member? I only recently figured out where the restrooms are.

  6. #19
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    Being a Bear of Little Brain, I find that, aside from the full concert experience, I can best absorb and follow and appreciate CM when I just listen to it without visual stimulation. Can't multitask well, maybe. I do alternate listen-only episodes with occasional YouTube viewings, but that often just whets my appetite to again hear and concentrate on the piece later in listen-only mode.
    Last edited by Strange Magic; Aug-04-2017 at 16:15.

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  8. #20
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    I have to be doing something with m eyes. A live concert is one thing, but if Im listening to CD/iPod/radio/etc., I have to be reading or driving or something. For the same reason, I hate being read to.

  9. #21
    Senior Member DeepR's Avatar
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    No. Light, movement, audience noise... ultimately everything but the sound itself is a distraction.
    If it were possible, I would be the only audience member at a concert held in complete darkness. That would be my ideal concert.

  10. #22
    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EarthBoundRules View Post
    How can the mind's eye see the beautiful images sparked by the music if your eyes are focused on saliva dripping out of trumpets and sweaty hands plucking strings? I prefer to listen to music in a dark room and pretend I'm floating in a sea of nothingness, awaiting for the music to paint it's own landscape in front of my eyes.
    That's very interesting, because I watch a lot of videos. I have never seen saliva dripping from the mouth of a trumpet player or sweaty hands on plucked strings. But I have seen a lot of pretty women in the string sections sounding like angels, and brass sections dressed in tuxedos that could down the walls of Jericho.

    I sometimes like watching live performances or dvds as a reminder that actual people play the music and it just doesn't spring from the head of Zeus. The immortal composers were once flesh and blood human beings too, but how many listeners ever think of them that way? Usually they're thought of as an abstract historical figure who somehow left behind a magical legacy from out of the pages of a book.

    So, I've rarely been distracted by the visuals of actual living people in the act of creating and playing their hearts out, though I can still understand if someone still wasn't interested in watching them. Then there's also the plus of seeing the tremendous, well-deserved reward of applause after a particularly fine performance. I feel that the visual can often add an extra dimension to the entire experience.
    Last edited by Larkenfield; Aug-05-2017 at 05:05.
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  12. #23
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    I watch a lot of DVD too and I like them very much, we also have the Mezzo channel and Brava on T.V and they gives us hours of interesting, and not so interesting music, 24/7.

  13. #24
    Senior Member Tallisman's Avatar
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    'All music created or composed demands some exteriorization for the perception of the listener'. And then he goes on to say that's an 'essential condition', without any real justification.

    As long as you know roughly how music is being played or have seen a concert once before, I don't think your experience is seriously hampered by not seeing the musicians.

    It's a pretty poor thesis from the old fascist He's assuming that his own preference/cognitive wiring is the only true one.

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  15. #25
    Senior Member T Son of Ander's Avatar
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    Perhaps Stravinsky's statements are a reaction to the growing popularity of recorded music. What year did he say all that? Perhaps he was afraid recordings would be the death of live performance.

    I personally think seeing the musicians play is a very cool experience. But with orchestral music, I don't think it adds that much. Seeing a string section bowing doesn't do much for how I perceieve the music; the same with watching a horn or wind player. The percussion is more interesting, as is the conductor. Also, I suppose, when themes are bouncing around the orchestra, it can be cool to see the players. Mostly, I think seeing the performers is more rewarding when it's a smaller ensemble, or especially, with popular music. Then there's a level entertainment value added to the music.

    Stravinsky does have a point... but only to a point. I think he went too far.
    Tom

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  17. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by CypressWillow View Post
    I once had an experience while at a performance (by Arthur Rubinstein) which made an indelible impression. I was thinking that Chopin is my favorite composer, the piano is my favorite instrument, and Rubinstein is my favorite pianist. So I closed my eyes in order to savor the moment more intensely.

    When I opened them again, I could see a shimmering light connecting Rubinstein and the piano, a circle that connected them, a glowing connection between the instrument, the composer, and the pianist.

    It was only that one time, and it remains as vivid for me today as it was all those many years ago.
    I was fortunate enough to see Rubinstein in one of his last recitals. He had just released an album pairing Beethoven's Op 31/3 and Schumann Op 12 Fantasy Pieces and I remember that they were both on the program. There was something incongruous about this old, frail man summoning such powerful and poetic sounds. I vividly recall the radiance and impish smile on his face during the last movement of the Beethoven, which is a playful and joyous piece. That was an instance of the visual enhancing the music

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  19. #27
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    Some visuals can ruin my enjoyment. I have a Blu Ray of Barenboim playing the 5 Beethoven PCs and the close ups show the sweat pouring off his face, landing on the Piano like raindrops and splashing all over. If I had been present in the audience I wouldn't have seen that, especially since he was also conducting he was facing the Orchestra and had his back to the audience

  20. #28
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    It depends. I can find it thrilling to participate, eyes wide open, in a performance where the player(s)/singer(s) have great stage presence and the audience is alive with delight. But, that happens in intimate venues only for me. I have too often found it tedious to be in the cheap seats of a large hall gazing at the back of some conductor or at some tiny little pianist.

    But, to answer Polednice's question - when Stravinsky says "the absence of visual distractions enables them to abandon themselves to the reveries induced by the lullaby of its sounds, and that is really what they prefer to the music itself", I don't think he's being honest. He doesn't even bother with all the sacred music that's traditionally performed out of sight of the congregation.

    Does anybody else think they get a better grasp of what is going on with their eyes closed? "Get it" more personally and intensely? Can concentrate better on its lines and colours (or is that only us synaesthetes?)

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  22. #29
    Senior Member mathisdermaler's Avatar
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    Musique concrete composers are fuming at this!
    "Not fare well, but fare forward, voyagers." -T.S. Eliot

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