As a pianist, I worked with someone else’s creation. I viewed the printed page as the composer’s shorthand to his or her thoughts and feelings, comparable to a “figured bass” in Baroque music, which provides numerals below a bass line to indicate the harmonies and melodic movement above. The composer’s intentions (and feelings) can never completely be notated musically. There does not exist a symbology comprehensive enough to do so, nor a page large enough (without being impractical or absurd) to accommodate all the additional markings required to express every nuance of his or her concept and emotion. As a visual artist, I therefore look upon my work as a “re-composition” or a sophisticated and complex improvisation of the nature’s “figured bass.”
One of my favorite composers is Johann Sebastian Bach. He worked with traditional Baroque forms such as the fugue and variation, synthesizing these compositional styles already in use, rather than developing new ones. His genius not only perfected these forms but also transcended them, making each work an innovation of both form and style. The key to his creations was in the simultaneous overlapping of musical ideas, often disparate in rhythm and melody, creating exciting cohesive and beautiful musical gems.
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