Friday, January 28

The Power of Intention!

As an orchestral musician, I had been told this by many conductors: “If you feel the emotion, it will sound that way, but if you don’t feel it, no one will ever believe it.” In fact, I have also told ensembles the same thing when I conducted… but you always have to wonder if it’s not just the power of suggestion: does the audience really hear any difference if the performer is mentally “in it” or not?kitten_Mind_Meld

Well, now I have the recordings to prove it!

I was testing out a few reeds and my recording device in preparation for my upcoming video --- which I have to get done in less than a month because I’m getting a wisdom tooth pulled out! --- and the recordings are very conclusive: thinking the dynamics and the sound yields more contrast than blowing harder or softer!

I listened to each recording immediately after playing: I could remember what I was thinking about while playing. If I thought about the crescendi and diminuendi, not much difference, if I thought about my blowing, hardly any difference at all no matter how soft or hard I blew. But when I thought about the character that each bar and chord resolution should have, what theses 5-6 notes meant in relation to each other… the message that the piece is trying to convey… then the recording showed very distinct and clear dynamics.

I have to say I’m both surprized and happy! This will allow me to enjoy playing even more: I can fully live a soulful connection with music.


Anna McNonymous said...

Hey! So THAT's why my teacher says things like, "Can you make this passage more playful?" or "When you play this measure, think of a beautiful dancer leaping across a meadow."

Thanks for sharing!

RobinDesHautbois said...

You got it. The oboe is really not very good at dynamics compared to the clarinet, for example. We do have to work harder at it, but that recording experiment showed that the instrument seems to respond more to our mind than anything else. The blowing part IS important: olympic atheletes also use visualisation, but they also have to train and run laps!