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Reciprocating Bill

Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 31 2007,16:14   

Quote (Kristine @ Mar. 31 2007,14:24)
Hearing OR seeing OR touch. The brain needs stimulation in order to develop and think.

You are absolutely correct to emphasize that even the most ephemeral and ineffable dimensions of experience (cognition, consciousness, intentionality, etc.) are at some level embodied. That embodiment loops through sensory-motor activity and out into the physical and social world, and in turn partakes of "distributed cognition." A brain in a beaker with no sensory/motor connectons is unlikely to be an experiencing or thinking brain. (Here's hoping I haven't offended brains in beakers everywhere).

And, as you say, even genuine human design typically consists in trial and error and many iterations of selection.
But that underscores my point. The steps themselves are learned and repeated. You must do this first before you can improvise. "Hours of mediocre noodling on the keyboard" is a mechanism, no? The ability to "yield brief passages of delightful accidental music," (i.e., to experience inspiration) requires discipline. You don't just bang anything on the piano because "that's how I feel" and call that inspiration. (I play the piano too, but I cannot compose music.)

We're on the same page. The only reason I can improvise at all is because, over decades, I have laid down numerous over-learned motor plans and well rehearsed automaticities that may be recombined at times into something novel. And, at the same time, I am trapped into my particular stylistic modes by this method, unable to easily rise above it and compose in a purely representational medium (e.g. musical notation). Which is why I'll forever be an amateur.

That said, and with those years of rehearsal laid down, there something to be said for getting out of the way and observing what emerges, which can occasionally be surprising.

Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  29999 replies since Jan. 16 2006,11:43 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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