Skip to main content

Fugue

I love a Bach fugue.

I love working it out at the keyboard. I love how it begins with the delicacy of one voice, proclaiming in simplicity its subject, and is followed by a succession of entries of essentially the same idea, only sung in different registers or modalities, which can't help but change the character of the original voice.

I love how all this interplay creates a spectacular pattern for listening that exists both vertically and horizontally. I love how ingenious it is that the contrapuntal texture can create interest melodically, and as a byproduct, effortlessly create complex harmony. Every note has a purpose and a place. There is nothing lackadaisical about the entry of the voices, or how they are placed together, there to proclaim and to reinforce one another.

I love the episodic material which forms a sort of connecting material or bridge between the canonic entries of the subject, and in my opinion, adds a contrast of lightness. Nothing is proclaimed here. It is the fun part to play on the piano for me, when the exclamatory quality of the voices die down and unravel into a buffet of musical ideas, often derived from the subject--as if a musical imp has stolen its favorite elements and woven them together in a dervish whirl of short cascades and dances--as if he has hijacked the music for a moment. And yet, it works!

I love the playfulness of the episodic material. I love that it gives me pause from the serious voices.

I'd like to spend a while here, in pause, outside of the heavy thematic material, away from all of the weighty voices; find myself cascading downward, upward in playful sequence, not taking it all so seriously.

And although I respect the gravity of the voices, exclaiming their 'truth' with passion and fervor, I can't help but find that if I stay with them too long, they keep me missing the lighter, more playful moments; moments when I can sit down and be aware of only the notes resounding in the now, marking the now; all that isn't a memory of sound, or a projection of sound: the present moment. Here, I can hear the notes objectively, without seeing any story they belong to, no context in a rhythmic phrase or melodic scheme, no idea where they fall into harmonic progression.

I can set myself free from wondering what comes next, whether it will be dissonant, or pleasant sounding, whether it will leave me in suspense, or cadencing with it. There will be no judgement of whether what comes next is the logical choice, or has brazenly defied all the rules of form.

When I'm ready to listen to the entire composition again, to allow myself to hear all the voices come back together in the context of a bigger composition-- join the choir with the more playful parts, I'm sure it will all sound differently.

I imagine the voices will feel lifted up in love, even if a little serious sounding, even if expressing fear. I will see how alone and meaningless their proclamations are without the playful episodic moments to bridge them, to connect their ideas with their experience.

I'll have a renewed sense of awe, that each little note, although arrogant in thoughts of self-importance, was such a vitally important part of the whole. In this, I'll find an extraordinary display of music, and something that extends far beyond my auditory experience of it.

Comments

  1. While in the describing of the many complexities of a fugue, you have through the many voices of music placed an overlay about life...I got that!

    Beautifully brilliant!

    I want more!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

♥ Thank you for taking the time connect with me here. ♥

Popular posts from this blog

RIP Poltergeist

After over ten years of an incredibly intense journey as a seeker, I find myself lying fallow. Taking a rest. When I first discovered this uncomfortable fact — threat to the hamster wheel that was my spiritual rat race, I surrendered for dead, but something wouldn’t let that fact sit as truth. I was lying fallow, but this implied that after a good rest, fruit could follow. This had nothing to do with death.

I am humbled at the courage it takes to write. For many years I kept a blog read by only a handful of very supportive people, and you’d think that after sharing writing for so long with perfect strangers, writing would have gotten easier. Actually, it got harder. In fact, at one point I was so paralyzed, I just stopped writing altogether. It was just too vulnerable. There was no trust there anymore, and I attributed any courage I had had to my youthful ignorance.

However, life continues, as it inevitably does, and there is still this pang to write, and it grows stronger and strong…

Pillow Talk

Today I felt the familiar pangs of conversing with my body, it forever unyielding to my demands that it shape itself pretty now. That it chase itself back to its few glory days.

I tell my body that I would be ready to appreciate those days of yore now that I know what I missed while vying for the shapes and sizes of the other women around me.

Over and over my mind and I have run this particular proclamation to my body.

Then, we are good on our road, until the mind closes in and starts to overtake my strides.

You'll never make it there, you are too far gone, it taunts. It is too late.It isn't possible for you.

Then, so predictable--it attacks the most vulnerable part of me. The part I hide, keep covered, feel sure is my perfect disgrace: my belly.

The scale tipped in favor of shame today. Shame that I'd let the house of my being become so run down. That I'd let myself use food to comfort me, pick me up, enhance experience-- and that in the process I'd packed on the ext…

Adventure

Another painting I loved making. I had so much fun just layering paint and swirling about.

Adventure has been a big part of my world as of late. In fact, writing this after a long day of skiiing. Where I used to shy away from leaving the house, I've been doing the opposite. Finally really getting to know my beautiful state and bask in its beauty-- hiking to the top of many peaks--sometimes limping the last stretches back to the car. Took my girls camping on the beach without a 'man'  and was so proud when I got the campfire started multiple times. The girls had their doubts I could do it. It was nice to prove them wrong! My most favorite was the day I drove 5 hours to the closest passport office on a wing and a prayer to get a same-day passport (wing and a prayer because they tell you you can drive all that way, but that there is no guarantee they can/will help you) so I could accept an invitation to see the woman's soccer world cup, and within a week was in Vancouver…