Thursday, April 28, 2011

Musicality Book Club, (7)

Music as Mirror
Chapter 7 is exploring music as surface where we can understand more about ourselves. The sections for Human experience and and evolutionary aspects were quite accessible for me. However his other ideas about Cosmic reflection and Cosmic/Human reflections stayed with him - I just could not strech my brain to comprehend his ideas here!

In several occasions he diminishes the value of contributions we usually attach to single individuals and distributes the same to all existing today as well as to the generations to come and already gone. "Music is not made by individual musicians.." "..each piece of music comes from a swarming population of musicians with ancestors tracing back to the first motion in space."

He was firm in his idea about the future generations being part of a composers work. I never really understood his idea about future generations - the only idea I could think was his goals. The only way for me to get good work done is to have a goal in future - I maybe not involve the coming generations but I reach the years they will live.

I was quite inspired about his idea to consider echoes as aural mirror. For him is a sounding body causing other bodies to sound another kind of aural mirror. Later I started to think it more as an reflection - the rock sending my voice back is the mirror. But I am not sure if I got it right - Mathieu continues some pages later: In the vibrational mirror of music we practice and alter, and notate and edit, and practice some more until it sounds right.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Heart beat - Creativity and surpris!e

Radio program presented also some of the basics for creativity and mechanisms for a surprise. Both needed and occuring in my dance!

Creativity was defined as capacity to produce several new ideas in short time. It is interesting that creativity is disconnected from IQ level - it is an unique separate capacity. You maybe know someone with high IQ but producing nada interesting ideas!

Ceativity  has a shared genetic base with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder via low levels of dopamin receptor, D2. When information enters brain it will be filtered in a structure called thalamus which prioritize the material allowed to go further to cerebral cortex. When D2 levels are low more information is flowing further. If your other brain structures and functions are stable you can enjoy great creativity and mental health. But if your other functions are more fragile you may have schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

It is a known fact that creative persons do have relatives with these disorders. By the way there seems to exist a new trend to boast with the mental problems as sign for artistic capability; something to list on the CV!

Strong cultural experiences reach deeper in your brain compared to ordinary reasoning dialogue and it reaches your consciousness via two different paths.

When we listen to happy music it enters via ears to the thalamus and is then transported fast to the emotional brain. If this music has quality of joyfulness and maybe your memories connected to this song are happy too, resulting in a massive activation of cell structures for joy. ( Program indicates that several feelings have their own cell structures - ( I wonder...)  )

Now your body knows that this is a happy moment! You are stricken by joy and you can feel it! But it takes longer time for information to come to higher levels of brain where you become aware of the music.

This timing difference is a problem if you need to lie! Your body will blow your secret before you become aware of the reaction needed for your lie!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Heart beat - Music and Brain

Some ideas from a radio program with researchers, therapists and artists talking about what happens when brain meets music!

It seems difficult to define what music is but this is the definition one of the researchers in program used: A sounding artform which is not speach.

When listening your hearing, sound processing parts of brain are activated as well as the emotional system. Motoric system is activated even when you do not perform any visible movements. Shadow activities at miror neuron area are observed.

There is two kind of listening:
* When you have musical tranining you can focus on the structure. Your right ear takes in the sounds and the left side of brain is analyzing the music.
* Emotional person does it differently

Just based on these few facts in the program there could be four groups. One split line goes between the groups trained or not and the other if you are emotional person or the opposite.

In music production and learning an iterating vision-tactility-vision proces in motorical system is performed. An amateur musician has lot of activity in higher brain areas for planning, consentration, error correction and motoric systems. A professional musician brain is more quiet; some activity in motoric system and less in the higher areas.

The best predictor for performance is the quantity of training. This was his main point - quantity of training! And he actually redefined the musically gifted person as one, who is clever to pick a suitable training method and is interest to train a lot.

The ability to produce a constant, steady, exact pulse on drums is a good predictor of intelligense. The pulse must be controlled in milliseconds. The smarter you are the better you can keep the pulse constant. - Maybe a new line on you CV when candidating for your next job!

Rhytm experience is in left brain where gramatical and analytical processes take place.
Melody experience is in right brain where psycological, visual and primitive language centers are. Children learn first to recognize the melody pulse and the basic pulse comes later.

All this information can be used to analyze location and range of a brain damage as well as to be used when reactivating the deeper layers of damaged brain with music therapy.

Personally this could explain why I have been dancing all the years without recognizing tangons rhytmical pattern: ONE twoTre four. I am ALLWAYS using my left ear when speaking in phone - I have a feeling not understanding when using the other one. It means I always activate the melody recognizing, right brain when listening. Thats what I do also when dancing!

Which is your favorite ear?

In future this could be implemented when creating  the training for these people with strong left/right ear preference. Maybe first train the melody part for left ear group to have a good start and then focus on the musical structures which needs more training.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Training week starting 18/4

No Monday training this Easter week but Saturday training is still there. We will see how the dancing will be this week. Anyhow on Wendsday to start with!

Brain and Music needs to be writen down....

Detlef and Melina continue...

El Choclo continue...

Rhytmic training is tempting me again.

Book Club has come to chanper 7, Music as Mirror.

In the background I plan the training for May and hopefully something new in autumn. Some teaching for autumn is already booked and some more is in pipeline.

This week seems to be some kind of catching up kind of week. It is also a shorter one and  Easter activities with friends and sibblings will be a nice change!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Training week starting 11/4

This week seems to keep me reading and listening!

Book Club has come to chapter 6, Music as Story. Thoughts in this book are quite far from my ideas but interesting so I keep reading and rereading to get access to his world. I understood the author is around 70 years and has a long term perspektive in his subject! (Link to last weeks chanpter)

Detlefs and Melinas workshops were canceled but I want to run through my notes and the printed material from their earlier workshops.

Dans-Forums had an interesting analysis of tangos El Choclo and Bachia Blanca. It is detailed but if you have interest and time it will be rewarding!

A friend told me about a radio program where artists, therapist, scientists tell about their results in music work and research. I have started to listen Music and Brains - one of the 11 programs. REALLY interesting! With totally new information for me about how brain works with music!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Immense dancing again

I have actually not been dancing for a while. Reading, thinking and music studies have kept me at home. Even all the classes for weekend were cancelled and I could rest the morning and early afternoon!

Once in the month we have a milonga in a fabulous café at third floor, above a church. The church board has had several hot meetings about it but we are dancing there again. I really appreciate! It is here I saw first time a beautiful pista in ful activity - it is crowdy but going forward, around!

After La Cumparcita we walked to a tango restaurant where the owner was going to release the TangoCamp Italy, Greece and Sweden for this summer. I have attended all camps 2004-2009 but have not decided yet for next one! It has been great learning and dancing.
Anyhow this evening we were early and had nearly all the floor for ourselves. I was lucky having two of my favorite followers with me. One was eating and I danced with the other! (I ate at home!)

This was cultural night with lots of events allover the town. I was only interest in the tango at Romania cultural centre. I met my follower at door and hardly get in for the crowd. There was a trio and a singer singing rumanian. The funny detail was that I recognized two of the songs; I have them! Some years ago I bought two CD with old European and Arabic tangos and now I heard some of them live!

Most surprising thing was to be at home before midnight after all that dancing!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Musicality Book Club, Week 5

Musicality Book Club  Joy in Motion w5  link

I was most struck by Mathieus loss of the intuitive way to experience music. His story of how he during his first piano lesson stayed in the intellect without any support or training for the other side of the musical experience. (P81-82)
“My brain simply got ahead of my ear, and who was to know the danger of that? I had to wait a quarter century before I knew once again how to enter the musical realm of the nameless.”

This has been a central issue for me since last spring when I found a way to work with the intellectual side of music.

For some reason I had never understood the basic rhythm of tango but I was leading to the melody and other structures that I could find in the songs. All this was totally beyond my intellect. My dance was magic to me, my feet were fantastic when they found their way in the music. When my followers praised my phrasing and musicality, I looked at my feet and commended them!
During last two years, I understood that others heard something more, they were dancing to something I did not recognized but I could not get it and no one managed to explain me what they heard!

Last spring, I got hold on Joaquín Amenabars tutorial book on music for tango dancers and began intensive period of  reading and practicing. After only two weeks I finally started to discern the tango's characteristic four -beat rhythm. I was like others!

At the same time I began to wonder how this would affect my dancing?
With Mathieu terms, I started to leave the innocent / intuitive way to relate to the music.

Two of my DJ friends told me that their experience became stronger when they know more about the music. A professional musician however, said he was disturbed to be aware of  the musical structure during his dance.

For me, the biggest fear was/is to start perceive music as a clock that ticks. Just like looking at a painting and only see and analyze the brush strokes but not experience the painting itself. (*)

Mathieu confirmed my fears - if you are careless you can get out of mind/heart balance.

Therefore, I am now definitely more eager to think and seek opportunities to train the intuitive side also.
* Mathieu talks about singing – it helped him to get back to a nameless experience.
* I remember an article about a Russian violinist who played every day until the music started to sound inside her. I think her intuitive/heart had been activated then.
* At a Saturday dance I tried to be totally unfocused - as in a type of meditation - when I danced. To stop my intellect - it can be an opportunity
* To keep on intellectual/theoretical work just for a period and then stopp. During the pause you let it become part of you, integrate it with your earlier skills. Worth of a test I think.

Another question is How do we find balance and exercises in teaching so that participants understand the difference and importance to practice both parts.

(*) The feeling of cold, technical dance I have now COULD be that I am unfamiliar with the new way of hearing and can get back to my experinece again when accustomed to this level of hearing.

Bridge of  Waves, W.A. Mathieu