Sunday, November 25, 2007

Unconscious arithmetic?

C is researching his book; looking up the history of guitars. I’ve been playing piano; awoke with another song in my mind, Ray Lamontagne’s "Three More Days" and worked out an arrangement. That song has that "Memphis" blues rock feel I love.

Different images run through my head while I’m playing and composing: shapes and colors moving, apart and together; a silent movie of an old friend telling a story; two dancers in an unrequited ballet; bamboo screens, eucalyptus, and an open window at night; a castle and someone looking out; thicket of trees and brush after it’s rained; a rider approaching on a horse; a storm rumbling through an afternoon sky; city streets at 2 a.m. on a humid summer night; couples gliding together in a smoky bar.

Synesthesia? Probably not. More likely an active visual imagination, like dreaming. But I do notice that tones from the white keys sound different to me than tones from the black keys. The white key tones sound "open" and remind me of a flat sky in summer. The black key tones sound "multicolored", "woody," and have an emotional pull I can’t quite describe. And I notice that difference even playing guitar; B-flat major or minor has a different "feeling" than C-major. But I don’t hear notes as rainbows of colors like some do. And I don’t see letters or numbers in colors, although maybe if I had, I’d been better at math in school :-}.


Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life.
~Ludwig van Beethoven

Music is the pleasure the human mind experiences from counting without being aware that it is counting…music is unconscious arithmetic.
~Gottfried Leibniz

Music is what feelings sound like.
~Author Unknown

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"I've got your number," meaning I'm following your tune, an algebra of desire, how to keep numbers straight, or not, or knotted integers, "here's another number certain to make you happy", call of new year's eve band leaders, prime, or year, or stock, or temperature, it's all desires painted, by number?