Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's Bête Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Sunday, February 27, 2005


Just got back from taking the 2-year-old to his first classical concert, a friend’s senior violin recital down at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. The 2-year-old sat rapt and silent throughout it, though we did skip a Schumann sonata (which our friend didn’t play) for a diaper change. I kept on checking in with him between pieces.

“Do you like the music?”

“Yes,” he said, in a low quiet serious voice. I kept telling him what a good boy he was, and we didn’t applaud between movements.

At the reception afterward he was his usual merry self, laughing and talking and scribbling on the chalkboard, making a post-Cage looking score on the board’s pre-painted staves. I added a treble clef for orientation.

Extrapolating from the 2-year-old’s evolving relationship with the arts, a myth of origin suggests itself:

The original human art was the dance, and the dance came in response to music that was already there, the worldly rhythms of life. Only after establishing the dance did humans begin to respond to the music that was already there by trying to join in sonically as well.

Avatars of the myth appear in tap dancing movies, where Fred Astaire dances to the rhythms of an engine room during a trans-Atlantic crossing, and Gregory Himes dances to rhythm of a dripping faucet while languishing in prison.
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