What is this breath that is talked about so often?
Heard what was going on around him - not a system but an attitude - the rhythm of breathing - sounds as living objects - the rediscovery of bodily rhythms - musicians are actors in an abstract drama - bridging the gap between score and audience = Donald Runnicles (above) and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra performing Bruckner's Eighth Symphony at last night's Prom
'It is we who need to know Breath is Life. What is this breath that is talked about so often? Actually it is not so difficult to understand when we come to realise that on planet Earth we have just one thing in common and that is the element of air. We sit in a room attending a lecture or concert; we are all sharing the same air. We may not consider this important, and yet, the moment we enter a world of compassion, knowing that the musicians and the conductor in the concert, or he who is giving the lecture, are all sharing the same air with us, something can happen within to help bring about real change' - Reshad FeildAlso on Facebook and Twitter. Quote is from Reshad Feild's Breathing Alive: A Guide to Conscious Living. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk
For one thing, for millennia music was associated with a lot of physical tasks, sea chanteys being just one example.
For another, my feeling is that part of the connection live music can make with an audience is that music can encode physical gestures (and their associated emotive meaning) and watching someone create the music can accentuate that aspect. Our mirror neurons can turn visual perceptions into internal proprioceptions and emotive feelings which can enhance and deepen what we're hearing.
I have made a conscious decision to reduce the railing against the manifold stupidities of classical music, and instead spend more time exploring the fringe areas. It is appreciated that these 'fuzzy' paths are not to everyone's taste, but I have to say the response is truly gratifying. Which perhaps tells us something...
And Runnicles is oddly undervalued as a conductor. I have heard enough performances by him at the San Francisco Opera (and one perfect performance of Britten's War Requiem at the San Francisco Symphony) to be able to say that the U.K. is lucky to have him back, especially since he's now in his musical prime.
I suggest there are two reasons; he is not particularly mediagenic, and has declined too indulge in the profile raising excesses of some of his more ambitious colleagues.
The fact that he makes up for these perceived shortcomings many times over with an abundance of talent doesn't cut any ice in classical music today.
It's my hope that your exploration of what are now considered fringe areas will in time, along with others in the "new media" doing similar explorations, lay the ground work for redefining what classical music is and can be in a world that is inexorably shifting away from the model that worked from roughly 1850 to 1980.
While pointing out the stupidities (and rampant corruption) of the present setup is helpful, my guess is that it's even more important to figure out what comes next and to nurture what looks promising, as that's exactly what those in the current feedlot will never do. Established elites like the way things are and will do nothing that endangers their elite status and the pay checks that come with it.
I'm sure that there are others, but of my regular reads, you, Alex Ross and Greg Sandow are working steadily towards understanding and supporting and shaping whatever comes next. That sort of writing and reporting makes for fascinating and engaging reading, and points your readers to wonderful resources they might never have known of otherwise.