Monday, August 14, 2006

Musicians and Memories

Sometimes looking at a blank computer screen can get you nowhere. Inspiration doesn’t just appear out of the ether. However it can set the old memory going, in fact it didn’t have to go too far back in time to come up with a little piece of information.

I was listening to the first of the Reith lectures and this year it is a musician Daniel Barenboim who is giving them. Two little gems came out of his talk.

1] The creation of music, the moment when music fills the silence that proceeds it. He told us that you couldn’t just make the music appear out of the silence it must fill that silence. It made me sit down at the piano and anticipate that moment before a note is played.

2] The second gem is his observation made when asked what he would play if he had one minute to live. Well he knocked that on the head by saying he didn’t live his life wondering about such trivia. However he does play his concerts as if they are both his first and last.

In amongst his answer he came up the idea that each day his relationship with music starts anew and with that you bring your experience from previous days. But due to the transient nature of music it is always new each day spiced with memories of past playing.