Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tender Intimacies

Scarlatti is so pretty. Isn't this the most tender, intimate, beautiful thing you've ever heard? This is Vladimir Horowitz playing. He has the sweetest-sounding piano, and--wow--he plays with the most amazing range of colors!

Horowitz was amazing at bringing the listener into the music, as if he were confiding a secret. You know how sometimes you can be told a secret in such a way as you feel flattered?

He makes his performance such an intimate experience, even when he has hundreds in the audience. It's almost as if you're his lover, and he's whispering sweet secrets in your ear.

And of course, that got me thinking about writing. How can I make my stories as tender and intimate? How can I make my words pull the reader in?

Not just hold their attention, but make them feel special?

And Horowitz had such a range of colors. He once cited over two hundred, or so the legend goes. What would the equivalent of colors and shading be in writing? The different rhythm of sentences we use? Maybe our own stylistic quirks?

I don't know. Something to think about. But this week, I'm going to try to write as Horowitz playing Scarlatti.

PS: Okay, I can't help it. One more:

15 bonus scribbles:

Robin 9/18/2008 11:49:00 PM  

I'm reading/listening to your post while lying next to Adam in bed. Adam asked, "Whatcha listening to?", and I told him. He said, "Pretty. Let's get the CD." We're such stupid American consumers. Why not just enjoy it on your post, and go to sleep with beautiful music in our heads? No. Let's plan on a trip to the music store. Sigh.
If you ever want to write a non fiction book, I'd love a book explaining beautiful pieces of music in simple ways that we non players of instruments could understand. The book could come with a CD of your favorites. I'd snatch that puppy right up.

Edie 9/19/2008 12:19:00 AM  

Spy, I love this! Like Adam, I want to run out and buy the CD. How beautifully you put this too. I never connected music with colors before. I never connected writing with colors either.

I just learned something wonderful. Thank you.

Kath Calarco 9/19/2008 10:00:00 AM  

Spy, you have the heart of an artist - you are a true writer. Keep embracing the other arts and your creative beast will always be your truest guide.

Beautiful post.

Melanie Avila 9/19/2008 11:13:00 AM  

I love this post, Spy. I love that you tie music and writing together so easily.

Did you hear they just discovered a "new" piece by Mozart in a French library? Very cool.

Avery 9/19/2008 11:55:00 AM  

It's nice. Unfortunately, I don't "hear" the colors like you do, Ms. Hendricks. ;) I guess I'm more of a beat-me-over-the-head-with-sound, type (although I have a guilty obsession with Enya).

StarvingWriteNow 9/19/2008 01:29:00 PM  

Very pretty music. (Though, I must admit, when the camera zoomed in on his hands I thought, Dude! Time to cut your fingernails!)

How is the writing going? And it's now, what? only 15 or 16 days left?

Aimless Writer 9/19/2008 06:49:00 PM  

All I can say is...Beautiful.

spyscribbler 9/20/2008 03:19:00 PM  

Robin, I'm a musician! I'm all about you going and buying it. :-) Just do a search for "Horowitz" and "Scarlatti." He's got a whole CD of the Scarlatti sonatas which are GORGEOUS. Amazing. LOVE them!

That'd be a fun book to write!

spyscribbler 9/20/2008 03:20:00 PM  

Edie, I've never connected writing with colors, either. There has to be an equivalent, but I'm not sure what it is, yet.

spyscribbler 9/20/2008 03:21:00 PM  

Kath, I sure need a guide, LOL! Let's hope it sticks around. :-) I pretty much see everything in terms of music, since it was my main focus for a good twenty years or so. Wow, that's a long time.

spyscribbler 9/20/2008 03:24:00 PM  

Ohmigawd, Melanie, I hadn't heard that! That is really cool. I just googled it, and it looks like it was an idea for another mass. So sad he didn't get to write it!

spyscribbler 9/20/2008 03:27:00 PM  

Avery, I love Enya, too! If you like beat-me-over-the-head music, you might enjoy Prokofiev. The g minor piano concerto, third movement, is particularly good for, um... *blush*

It's good for putting so loud the whole house vibrates. I get in those moods, too. :-)

spyscribbler 9/20/2008 03:29:00 PM  

Writenow, ohmigawd, I live in fear my students will see Horowitz's technique and think they can play like that. He only performed on his own piano, brought it across the country, along with his technician.

It was 15. Now it might be 19 again. *sigh*

Dube 9/21/2008 10:30:00 PM  

Videos like this make me REALLY want to start playing piano again. I remember trying to convey emotion in a song and how all-engrossing that can be while you're playing. It really makes me want to pull out my Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart pieces again. Sadly, it's been about 10 years since I really played. I don't know if I'd be any good anymore. :(

Too bad I don't own a piano.