Feb Photo 12 – Inside My Closet
There are many things crammed into my closet (or wardrobe, as the Aussies call it), from the standard items of clothing including shirts, suits, jackets and even a wetsuit, to the less obvious items. I have a G4 Mac in there, a few old keyboards and cables, and a guitar case or two.
Over the years, I have gained an impressive and varied collection of coat hangers. I have wire ones, plastic ones and even wooden ones. It gets me thinking sometimes, how many different ways there are to come to the same conclusion or outcome. Imagine this; you are looking for a way to hang a coat or other item of clothing, but nothing has been invented yet for such a purpose. A piece of wood with a hook in the middle would work. So would a twisted piece of wire, or a nail in a wall, or even an ornate coat rack, turned on a lathe, with decorative hooks. Who is to say which is the best option? IS there a better option?
The same could be said about many things in life. Imagine there are two chefs in a kitchen; one following the recipe exactly, measuring every single ingredient as closely as humanly possible, whilst the other does not measure, but simply ‘guesses’ the quantity of ingredients based on previous experience. Which will taste better? which is correct? Perhaps the guessing chef has adjusted ingredients to enhance the flavours, making it taste better than the original recipe?
In the world of music, I have had these types of constructive arguments with a few friends, using the “Written Music Vs. Learn By Ear” methods. Sure, Beethoven and the classic composers had reasons for writing their score down, partly so that the music could reach the ends of the known world, and be performed (in theory, at least) exactly as the composer had intended. However, the emotion of the music has difficulty in being transposed to paper, so although the notes, chords and rests are listed, it is hard to explain the emotional tone that makes the music come alive unless the performer has heard the piece played before.
As a musician that cannot read score very well (if at all!) I rely completely on my ear and my ability to hear the emotion within the music to learn a song. It is more than notes, rests, rhythm and tempo. Songs are usually written to tell a story, whether it be a happy story or a sad story. Music is a way to communicate the emotion of the event experienced by the writer. This is apparent in all music from Classical compositions to more modern rock, metal, blues and jazz.
Beethoven wrote the well-known “Fur Elise” for his girl Elise. The title tells us that it is ‘For Elise’. This song is written to tell of his love for her, it is dedicated to her name, and probably would have been penned as he was courting her.
Guns N Roses’ Axl Rose wrote their song “Estranged” at a time when he was going through a messy divorce, losing custody of his young daughter, and turning to drugs and alcohol. The video clip tells this story, more or less, as the song is played. Listening to the song on its own however, one can hear the emotion in it, as well as the emotional turmoil and the “ups & downs” of this difficult journey in his life. The song goes from despair and sadness to anger and regret, and then back again.
There are many ways to go about most tasks in our lives, from writing a song, learning a song, love, work, interpreting art and even making a simple coat hanger.
The above image was taken using the “Reverse Lens” technique, detailed in my “Feb Photo 7 – Button” post. The image shows a wire coat hanger at extreme closeup, with all the dust and rust expected. The image is slightly out of focus, as no matter what I tried, I could not get enough light in there to satisfy the camera’s light sensor.