Thursday, March 30, 2006

On a different tack


Music. The beginning or manner of beginning a piece, passage, or tone.

Decisiveness and clarity in artistic expression: a careful performance, but one lacking the rigorous attack the work demands.

So now I know. I used to think it had something to with the “angle of attack”. Remember all those Biggles books and the Commando comics?

All these days I had this mental picture of Yo-Yo Ma lifting his bow and somehow banking into a steep turn before he vroomed down on his cello, taking care to come in out of the sun, a bandit at 5 o’ clock high, eyes slitted as his thumb seeks the “Fire” button and rat-a-tat-tat, Bach’s Unaccompanied Cello Suites spiral to earth with pieces juddering out of their wings. As the last Suite crrr-rrumps into the ground and fireballs, the audience rise in unison, throwing their caps in the air and cheering wildly.

Y-Y Ma, ace extraordinaire, waves from the cockpit as he does two slow barrel-rolls before flying off into the wings. Loud noise ensues off-stage – a Montagnana cello is not equipped with landing-gear, retractable or otherwise, even if it comes from Venice and is named Petunia.

Petunia?!?! Naaah. “Attack” ceases to have any relevance.

Now if it had been Jimi Hendrix with Machine-gun ….

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Falstaff said...

oooh! Now there's a dogfight I'd want to be watching.

Makes sense though. Just listen to the opening of the third movement of Moonlight Sonata. If that isn't ack-ack fire, I don't know what is.

km said...

Jimi Vs Yo-Yo? Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. I wouldn't underestimate YYM though :)

BTW, attack is one of the 4 "physical" characteristics of a musical note or a sound. (The other 3 being delay, sustain and release, not counting volume or loudness.)

Now, I worship at the Temple of Jimi, but the guitarist with the most devastating attack technique is Eddie Van Halen. If he and Jimi could go mano a mano, that would be something.

Poorna Banerjee said...

Jimi ar Yo Yo???


*pulls down cap real low, looks around for hommies*