Clyde Street

Learning, Teaching, Performing

Aural Triggers for a Language of Performance?

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In the last two years I have become interested in the insights music can offer to the development of a language about performance in sport. In the last week I found three examples of music and sound offering insights.

On 20 November Graham Abbott presented a ‘Keys to Music’ program about Motzart’s C major Symphony, K551 (“Jupiter”). I was fascinated to learn that Graham regards this piece as “one of the most sensational achievements of all Western music”.

In his blog post about the program, Graham observes that:

The “Jupiter” is a staggering masterpiece, and in the last movement in particular we see Mozart out-Baching Bach, out-Haydning Haydn, and even out-Mozarting himself. Why did he push the symphony in such a direction, simultaneously cerebral, sparkling, intense, entertaining and academic? What audience could he have possibly hoped would appreciate such a thing?

This is a link to the podcast of the program. The podcast is a detailed examination of the symphony. The skill and knowledge Graham has is a great example for anyone wishing to observe and analyse performance in sport.

A second program this week offered insights into sound and listening. Margaret Throsby interviewed sound recordist Chris Watson. This is a link to the podcast of the program.

Source

Chris explained in detail the work of a sound recordist. The podcast has some great insights into the art of listening and a discussion about how to capture the essence of a sound. Chris’s website is an excellent example of how sound can be used to engage a viewer. I liked his discussion of the use of birdsong as a calming influence (more information here).

Towards the end of the week ABC Television interviewed Sir Simon Rattle at the conclusion of the Berlin Philharmonic’s first tour of Australia. The transcript of his interview is available. I liked the first two points Sir Simon made about the Orchestra:

They simply love to play. Every concert they play like it’s their last concert on Earth.

I’m biased; they’re my family. They’re the most extraordinary orchestra I know of. It’s a kind of energy you could power a small nuclear plant with.

The interview discussed the mentor program the Orchestra offered to Australian school children through the work of Cathy Milliken (Brisbane born director of the Orchestra’s education program). I was fascinated by quality of the Berlin Philharmonic’s work and thought that what they do is an exemplar for any sporting organisation seeking to inspire and support performance.

What a great week for thinking about performance and exploring the aural triggers for learning.

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Author: Keith Lyons

Clyde Street has been my WordPress blog since June 2008. I write about learning, teaching and performing.

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