Melting and Firming

This morning I'm practicing Beethoven's last piano sonata for tomorrow's All-Beethoven concert. Having recently taken part in a theory conference about rhythm (see last newsletter), I am more attuned to the possibilities for rhythmic expression. Beethoven's rich ideas offer so many options of what to bring out, within each hand as well as in the composite rhythm, between syncopations at the quarter note / measure / hypermeasure levels, and between what I am calling "melting and firming". This last dynamic is so fascinating to experience when I take dance class, through reconciling the soft lingering of certain body parts (wrist, neck, and shoulders) with the strength and integrity of the anchoring structures and arrival points. To a dancer, the entire body is engaged through time in a constant flux of "melting and firming" body rhythms. Everything happens within the context of motion—gravitationally balanced and flowing with energy. One idea begins while another is ending. I suppose I'm thinking about a multi-dimentional rubato. The performing arts are, among other things, such a visceral human interaction with the concept of time!

Hsing-ay Hsu ©2020