As I trolled the Web in my Milwaukee hotel after dinner, I ran across this fugitive fantasy spun by my favorite blogger during choir practice:
These notes we sing are like a little community of people, and you can’t hold a person too tight for fear of extinguishing their creative impulses–their musical “movement” and direction, if you will. Yes, let them go, let them wander and explore. The best you can do is offer guidance, sustain them somehow, and give shape to their meanderings. Dear Palestrina. If I had to live in a piece of music…well, it couldn’t get any better than that.
Like Jack Benny, I’m thinking it over. If I had to live in a piece of music…but exactly what might that mean? It’s a complex, oddly self-revealing fantasy, one that necessarily entails something not unlike an act of synesthesia. Would I be a constituent part of the piece in question–a chord, say? Or would the piece as a whole be the world in which I lived, going to and fro and walking up and down in it? I can think of some chords I’d like to be (the first chord of the “Eroica” Symphony), as well as a few of the other kind (Le Sacre du printemps, anyone?). Still, it’s a lot easier to imagine a piece of music as a physical environment–a room, a house, a neighborhood.
The top five pieces of music I wouldn’t want to live inside:
(1) Sibelius Tapiola (too cold)
(2) Shostakovich Fourteenth Symphony (too depressing)
(3) Anything by Philip Glass (too boring)