Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The "Or" Thought and Composition

One of the things that used to drive my wife crazy was when I would have the "or" thought. You know, we would just be sitting around and I would muse out loud, "or we could have bought the Chevy..." "Or we could go to the Indian restaurant..." "Or we could put it all in T-bills..." "Or we could have stayed in Canada..." As a nice German girl, she just hated all the hypotheticals! But this is the way, for better or worse, that my mind works.

I suppose the downside is that I have the tendency to go back over my life and re-plan it or re-imagine it, or just re-gret a lot of things! But the upside is that this is the way a creative mind works, I think. You write something down, a musical phrase and you immediately start thinking, "or it could go this way..." If you come up with enough "ors" and put them in the right order, you might have a whole piece of music. Aren't the Diabelli Variations by Beethoven just a collection of inspired "ors" on a rather plain theme? Didn't Beethoven imagine all the alternate ways the theme might be written? All the "ors"?

I've put that piece up before, but what the heck, let's hear it again. Here is Grigory Sokolov playing the Diabelli Variations by Beethoven, live, and we even have the score:

No comments: