Why not take classical music to the visual?
Another comment on See the music becomes a post.
This is a very clever post Pliable, and you've hooked me as a new reader. I'm 23--so this question as you might suspect has occurred to me on several occasions, though I've never written it out as succinctly as you do here.The classical music roller coaster is a great example of taking classical music to the visual. More on music and images here. And a photograph of Alexis Weissenberg with Mrs Pliable here.
Why not take classical music to the visual? As a filmmaker friend once explained to me (while we were watching another student's project, in which Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet was the soundtrack to a series of related but aleatory visual scenes): "The film is explaining how the music works".
I thought this was a brilliant comment. I've just seen a video by Ake Falck of Alexis Weissenberg performing Stravinsky's Petrouchka - excerpt from 1965 film above. The camera moves and dives into the piano, the lights shift, it's like adult fantasia. What the visual does here is drastically enhance an already breathtaking piano performance. In that same vein, fantasia, and for that matter (though more simplistically) Looney Tunes en'light'ened classical music for several generations of children who wouldn't otherwise touch the stuff. Lastly, I recently saw a recording of the Yo La Tengo / Underwater films of Jean Painlevé performance that happened last year at Lincoln Center. Amazing, and the same affect. Rather than simply providing a soundtrack for the visual happenings, what a successful "combine" does is inform both: the visual is certainly enhanced, but it's fascinating to hear how the music changes, becomes fuller, saturates, is too informed.
Synesthesia shouldn't be withheld as a lofty gift of a few crazies (Scriabin and many other artists desire to assume proprietary rights on the syndrome). We all have it--you can't separate dance from music or vice versa. Orchestra directors should consider this as they try to find a middle ground between programming more of the same into each season, and resorting to playing concerts of XBox 360 tunes to sell houses. Posted by airlock.
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