ATON is a hopefully evolving classification theory. It aspires to unify knowledge around numbers and prefers naive methods. Some of the older posts are wrong but I'll keep them for the sake of continuity.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Performance and nothingness

Performance of a difficult piece needs higher concentration and relaxation at the same time. Regardless of what piece. Musical piece, sexual piece academic piece. A paradox. How can you relax and concentrate at the same time? How can you create on demand? Even a purely mechanical performance needs a lot of juice. The key it seems is passion with wisdom. Passion knows the destination, wisdom knows the way. The destination is beauty, the way is nothingness. Like drops making an ocean.

Playing guitar needs a lot of concentration and relaxation at the same time. To learn a difficult piece, the fastest way is to play as slow and light as possible. A paradox. As Abel Carlevaro states clearly in his guitar method, you gotta give your full attention to balance from the start. Balance is achieved fastest by building it from little. So to learn you decrease tempo and power as much as possible but keep good balance and control. The {position, amplitude} duality of Delta Function is here as {tempo, power}. After all, learning is locating. Slowing down is as difficult as playing faster. You have to hold notes longer with your left hand, but the real difficulty is to remember. It is easier to remember when you play in a relaxed tempo which happens to be the natural tempo of the piece. The brain likes different speeds for different things. Intensity or power is also difficult to reduce. You have to play your right hand really close to the strings, which is really hard. So it is as hard to play slow and light as fast and powerful. But to learn, or to teach the piece to your brain, you have to slow down. Like learning a language.

Performing for musicality is similar. If you don't relax you can't bring the beauty out. Improvisation must be the real test for any musician. Improvisation, or creating on the go, is the way to go. The way is nothingness.

In the end everything is mediation, or compromise, or balance. It is difficult to play powerful and fast or light and slow at the same time. So you find a middle way that suits you best. But you keep pushing the difficult limits to keep your domain nice and roomy. Build strength around your comfort zone, and extend your comfort zone to meet your difficulties.

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