“The Place Before I Speak” at Angela Peralta
By Greg Morton
“The inexpressible depth of music, so easy to understand and yet so inexplicable, is due to the fact that it reproduces all the emotions of our innermost being, but entirely without reality and remote from its pain… Music expresses only the quintessence of life and its events, never these themselves.” Arthur Schopenhauer
“The Place Before I Speak”
By Greg Morton
Fri, Jul 5, 7:30pm
Teatro Ángela Peralta
I once saw photographs of water, sand and sugar placed under a piano in a tray while someone played. Magnified a thousand times, the photographs came alive, revealing patterns of ripples, waves, explosions and craters. Our bodies, filled mostly with fluid, experience the same sensations and movement when we listen to music. This movement titillates our emotions and memories. To say we are moved by music is literally true.
“The Place Before I Speak, or Dar Forma a lo Amorfo,” refers to this magical occurrence. In focusing on the inner sensations and sound from the piano around me and the place where that line of inner and outer dissolve, something different happens. It feels like all of the patterns seen in the magnified photographs begin to move in a larger and more organized form creating waves inside of me. The waves act strongly and move about freely without thoughts or descriptions interfering and trying to direct. This effects the decisions I make in what notes to play, volume, patterns, and sensitivity.
The pieces I will play reflect experiences in my life and the attempt to explore those memories and sensations through the vibrations and sounds of music. The emotional memory of these experiences speak more freely without a need to label, define and categorize, which can alter the essence of those memories and emotions. Improvising offers the wonderful moment of feeling those emotions at that very moment without concern; those perceptions and feelings may change in the next ten minutes. If I am able to be honest and not censor what’s going to happen next, each of these pieces will come out in their own way, revealing something new. I may or may not like these feelings or experience, but it will be honest, therefore, more interesting, more beautiful and more moving. If I allow myself to be moved by all of these occurrences and interactions before my rational mind gets in the way, then it will directly reflect all of that magical occurrence Schopenhauer speaks of.
No doubt I am borrowing/stealing patterns from the composers I play. If I stay focused on the sound and sensations, I am synthesizing their music and not copying it, because I allow it to go through me it will always be different. We can experience all of these movements, memories and emotional sensations without any consequences. We can freely feel emotions we may otherwise be afraid of.
Each of the pieces I play will conform to this process. There are titles and subtitles to each piece and usually that implies a progression through the piece in the order written. That may or may not happen. I will start in the same place and in the same key I always do for each piece. Beyond that, I will allow the music’s own nature to dictate what happens. If I am successful in being in the sensations I have described, the music created in that moment will be fresh, new and interesting.