12 03 2009

I really hate that word as a song title – I think I mentioned in an earlier post that it sounds like you mispronounced “furry” or “fry” (or a very disturbing combination of both).

Be that as it may, the term is used to describe the formation of emotional connections between different classes of people – for example, the connection between teachers and their students. The definition on Wikipedia isn’t explicit on this, but I suppose the term could be used to describe (but not necessarily) connections of the more romantic sort.

I am not Japanese, nor a linguist, so I will leave the definition of the word at that. I turn my attention now to the piece The Orchestra performed last Saturday.

In case anyone might be getting the wrong idea, I’ll not be talking about The Orchestra’s rendition of the piece – it is what it is, and we will have to wait for another opportunity to improve on our performance. But I just want to talk (or rather, soliloquize, since nobody seems interested in discussing it as it is) about the music itself for a moment.

I’ll be blunt with you: I love this piece. You could say I’ve outgrown the youthful fascination with minor-keyed, ominous-sounding pieces that sound like the end of the world as we know it – I still enjoy them, mind you, but I guess I’ve had enough of them for the time being. But big – no – huge sounding orchestral themes that are in major keys (romantic or otherwise) –  that I have little experience in rendering.

Of course, it helps that the melody of Fureai is unabashedly romantic.

But how do you capture the epic scale of such a romance (Ugh! Why am I talking about this now?!)? It turns out that the musical technique that was good enough for sending macbre chills up people’s spines is woefully inadequate at giving them goosebumps of the more amorous sort. I mean, it’s not enough that the strings be in tune, their bows all going in the same directions – the players must impart a lush, creamy quality to the sound. Vibrato is non-negotiable – it is an unquestioned must.

Brass, too, is important – alone, the trumpets are too brash, too strident. Their passages must be balanced with the round, mellow tones of both the trombone and the horn. That said, one cannot underestimate the need for a skilled trumpeter whose tasteful solos into the stratosphere must embody the soaring of the emotions so associated with (oh, I almost dare not say it!) falling in love.

I listen to the piece again, and I am not yet satisfied – this is one of those pieces that will haunt me until I can purge it from my system by performing it, at last, with unquestionable excellence…in all aspects – intonation, texture, dynamics…everything. Until the music itself becomes the physical embodiment of the emotions contained therein, I must pursue it, doggedly, relentlessly, inexorably.

Shortly after our weekend performance, The Orchestra’s principal percussionist likened it to preparing for, then finally summong the courage to leap over a cliff into the unknown. Oh, that I would be able to take that leap, to feel the wild flutterings of my heart as my feet, unfettered, leave terra firma in a mighty bound – sustained only by the unswerving faith that what I leap into is not doom, but destiny, and that that destiny is good.

I think perhaps, writing this is an attempt to ease the pressure that such an idea places upon my heart and mind and spirit – I fear that if I did otherwise, why, I would go mad from lack of sleep!

Frankly, dear reader, I would like to discuss this…this…dream. It goes beyond music, so do not worry if your contribution to the discussion is non-musical. I wish to engage with other minds on this subject – Come, let us lock horns and emerge sharper than before. I invite you to take that leap for yourself. But that is not up to me…but to you.

Let me close this, at long last, with a poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson (or however his name is ordered) – it was the same poem projected onscreen during our performance of the piece. I find it that it embodies everything I hear in this music…maybe even to an embarassing degree. I hope you agree.

Light, so low upon earth,
You send a flash to the sun.
Here is the golden close of love,
All my wooing is done.
Oh, the woods and the meadows,
Woods where we hid from the wet,
Stiles where we stay’d to be kind,
Meadows in which we met!

Light, so low in the vale
You flash and lighten afar,
For this is the golden morning of love,
And you are his morning start.
Flash, I am coming, I come,
By meadow and stile and wood,
Oh, lighten into my eyes and heart,
Into my heart and my blood!

Heart, are you great enough
For a love that never tires?
O heart, are you great enough for love?
I have heard of thorns and briers,
Over the meadow and stiles,
Over the world to the end of it
Flash for a million miles.




2 responses

17 04 2009

It’s Alfred Lord 😀

17 04 2009

Gotcha *makes quick edit*

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