Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Orchestra By Piano Light

I had planned on doing five posts this week about the strange sinkhole in Louisiana. But I had more-or-less forgotten that the Moon was new Sunday. Late this afternoon I was walking home from the grocery store and I saw the young Moon very beautiful in the sky behind thin clouds and behind the donut shop. I took a couple of pictures, one with the Moon behind the donut shop and one with the Moon behind the garden shop. I feel it has become something like a hobby, getting a photograph of the young Moon. So today I found myself writing about the donut shop and garden shop (again—I’m trying to stop for a while) and I’m going to do this post instead of a sinkhole post. Tomorrow I hope to get back to a post about the amazing sinkhole.


Bach’s omnivorous interest in different styles leads him to many other elements of variety in his keyboard writing. One gets the impression that the composer is usually thinking, at least to some extent, in terms of something other than the keyboard itself. That he usually thinks (and takes our imagination) beyond the keyboard’s real limits is one of the factors that give his keyboard music such appeal. The performer must think in the same way, rather than merely in terms of imitating the historical keyboard instruments, and use the instrument to reflect other musical media.

Sometimes what looks at first like a purely keyboard texture involves other elements. Prelude No. 3, WTC 2, is nominally in style brisé, with a pattern of arpeggiation. Note, however, the layering of the essentially five-part texture. Over a bass suggestive of resonant notes on a continuo cello, the tenor moves in eighths like a viola pulsing along within an ensemble. Above that moves a pattern of three-note chords reminiscent of orchestral string parts as they might be transcribed for the keyboard.

They turn off the lights at the garden shop
after closing time and the Sun goes down
but the Moon reflects the Sun. Other lights—
traffic lights and store signs—push back the night
and some details inside the garden shop
can be seen if somebody looks closely.

It’s not the world there, it’s not the night world,
but it’s the night pushed back, not back to day,
but to something that’s not night and not day.

Musicians can use one technology
to mimic or imitate another.

A piano played very skillfully
can mimic or imitate the texture
of an orchestra performing a score
composed, created, imagined for groups
of musicians on many instruments.

A piano isn’t an orchestra
but what are those details in the shadows,
what is illuminated? And what does
an orchestra mimic or imitate?

Both a piano and an orchestra
are silence pushed back. Both are revealing
something that is not them. But what is that?

The donut shop is not the garden shop.

The donut shop always appears brighter
even if there are no details to see.

Above the donut shop and garden shop
clouds move and below the Moon the Earth turns
and sometimes someone takes a photograph
stopping for a moment in the movement
that doesn’t stop, and the photographer
doesn’t really stop he just pushes back
the moment or the movement and it’s not
stopped, but everything becomes something else.

Pushed back, everything becomes something else.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I took those photos Tuesday evening.
The Moon was about 13% illuminated,
just about three days old.


When The Light Is All Reflections

The Orchestra As A Mythical Creature

Animals That Can Rip Apart Eternity

Almost Like The Mast Of A Sailboat

“People Born Illuminated”

The Moon And Venus Beyond The Fox Point

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