to innovate music,
playing, and interpreting.
We also need to LISTEN
in a new way.
It is always tricky to explain something new with old terms. Let me start with a short definition and then go into some detail.
— Short definition: Music tasting is a unique combination of Epicureanism and mindfulness, an exploration of the act of tasting, but just as much self- and music-exploration.
That was short, but probably not very understandable. (Also, too many drool-words.)
— Somewhat longer definition: Music tasting tries to combine two disparate areas of life, the sphere of tasting (wine, chocolate, whiskey, cheese, etc) and the sphere of classical music listening. With mindfulness we get three spheres — but for me real tasting always involves en element of mindfulness, whether we are talking about perfume…
The usual mental baggage we always get with classical music is put aside and we approach music as a wine taster would approach blind tasting.
Closing our eyes can make us “see” better with other senses
Wikipedia on blind wine tasting. “A taster’s judgment can be prejudiced by knowing details of a wine, such as geographic origin, price, reputation, color, or other considerations.”
In the same way a listener’s judgment is often prejudiced by information about composers, musical titles and pure speculation. There is however an important difference between music tasting and wine tasting. I quote from an article about blind tasting.
“You have seen the masters do it and it seems incredible. They stick their nose in a glass of wine. They give it a couple of sniffs, a couple of swirls and a couple of sips. Then without so much as a glance at the label they tell you what it is.”
“They tell you what it is…”. This brings us to the usual musical-logistical questions: Who wrote the piece? Is this from Beethoven´s early, middle or late period? Who plays it best?
Once again we end up in the classical semantic swamp. And once again we are doing a contest, in a world already drowning in contests, from Eurovision Song Contest and American Idol to Kontrapunkt.
Understand that there are no right or wrong answers in music tasting. This is not an opportunity or vehicle for showing off, demonstrating our knowledge, learning or cultural level.
Actually, it is much more than that: a chance to learn something new — about music, perception and ourselves.
Enough information. As they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. So let´s have a morsel. This is a recording of me trying out a piano piece. No, I won´t tell you what it is. Just blind taste it.
WHAT IS THE NEXT STEP?
I am going to post a series of articles, videos and podcasts here, containing music to taste, plus reflections about listening, “Sauternes” and the Universe.
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