11 April 2007

Figure and Ground

What if one of the greatest musicians in the world were to give a free concert in public, playing on one of the greatest instruments in the world? It is the ground, or context - often that which we don't notice - that gives meaning to events - the figures that we do notice... nor not, as the case may be. An interesting experiment in human dynamics, to be sure.
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Anonymous said...

More than anything else, this is a study in just how meaningless obscure classical music is to the average person today.

Mark Federman said...

I'm not so sure about that - see the comment from the person who said that he knows nothing about classical music (he's more of a classic rock guy), but he knew that this was something special.

There is indeed something special about great art and artistry, regardless of whether it is classical or avant garde contemporary, but first we have to notice what's going on around us. Personally, I think this is a study in the acoustic and performance "wallpaper" of North American urban society.

Anonymous said...

the urban wallpaper numbs
but there's something else at play here too ...
Modern artists don't just recite
their performance continuously changes shape
based on a "feedforward" relationship with their audience
You see this in so many urban art forms ...
dj's, rappers, breakdance, graffiti etc.

It would have been interesting to see
a virtuoso freestyle rapper in that same setting.
He would have incorporated the commuters themselves
and the urban wallpaper around them into his rhymes.
A break dancer would have flexed
with the shape of the moving crowd
illuminating their shape and her own simultaneously.

The "fog" doesn't stand a chance
against these sorts of virtuosos
because they are in a constant process
of redefining themselves and the fog.