Hearing Intertwines with Watching

It’s always fun to see that someone has retweeted you, or favorited one of your tweets. Such is the life in the modern digital age:

retweeted you
Feb 8:

The rocked the planets, elements, elementary, my dear maestro!


Ohiopyle waterfall
I received a message from a fellow blogger, Natalie: “back to The Elements. In the one picture they showed of the water for the “Flowing” movement, it said the photo was taken by you! How cool and exciting is that?”

Well yes, it was kind of cool. The Pittsburgh Symphony asked to use one of my photos of Ohiopyle I took a number of years ago that I keep on flickr. They wanted to introduce a new composition called “The Elements.” In the video, composer Reza Vali references the Youghiogheny river.

At Heinz Hall, I very much liked The Elements composition. Each of the five parts, done by five local composers, was unique unto itself, and each was very well done.

Most of all, I remember that the second of the composer’s works was the most emotionally like what I might describe as representing urban decay of sorts. It was very interesting. I like the effects on the strings and other instruments of a downward push with the left hand where the note would change in very chilling ways. I wonder what that effect is called? Certainly it was creative in the use of non-traditional techniques.

Yes, it would be GREAT to hear this new composition again while I write about it. It makes writing easier.

One final thought on “The Planets,” which was performed after intermission with a slideshow of NASA space images and simulations. I had binoculars, and looked mostly at the musicians instead of the slideshow of the planets.

That is not to say that the presentation was not interesting. I do like planets and the images, but somehow one reason I enjoy the symphony so much is because I like to watch the orchestra. As I watch them, I learn more and more about the compositions because the way they are played is fascinating to me. It adds to the enjoyment and to my understanding of how music intertwines with each individual’s exemplification of the notes before them and the way I hear and listen helps me become a part of the music. I can watch planets at home, but when I’m at Heinz Hall or any musical performance I’d rather watch the players. That’s the true “show.”

Hearing intertwines with watching to form a better whole just as elements combine to make molecules.

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