Everything in sound or the visual arts that affects us emotionally is a metaphor, I believe, for a related experience but more likely for a blending of experiences from our entire lives. It seems to me that every image I make and keep begins with butterflies, a feeling of recognition and most likely of joy. Often in the basic science asking the most simple question possible leads to the most fundamental breakthroughs. Einstein, in developing the theory of relativity, asked what does it mean for two events to happen simultaneously when they are moving relative to each other.
I have been a musician since age eight when I began studying the piano and it began my love of classical music. I have heard extraordinary and memorable performances of the world's greatest music by the world's finest orchestra. Yet what stays in my mind with the most ckarity and greatest impact is a single note.
I belonged for many years to the St. Botolph Club in Boston where each gathering was a performance, sometimes a lecture, alwayss an art exhibit, and sometimes music. The New England Conservatory was often the source of musical performers.
This particular occasion was unusual and special. About 11 years before Isac Stern had visited Isreal for the purpose of selecting young and promising musicians to come to the United States for study. In this case he chose four who had been playing together as a string quartet. At the time we heard them they were in their early twenties and the quartet in residence at the Conservator. The program was one quartet each by Mozart and Brahms. As I became older I developed serious hearing problems (among them having only one functioning ear and that one requiring a hearing aid) and so the acoustics of the room and my nearness to the performers were critical. I sat about 10 feet from the quartet. The first note of the Mozart was long and sustained with all four instruments playing in unison. My immediate reaction was that I had gone to heaven. The sound was so rich and beautiful, I had never experienced anything like it before. It obviously resonated with all my previous listening yet it was unique. It was, in a sense, a reminder of what I had been longing to hear for forty or so years, but only on this one occaasion (including the rest of the evening) was everything: composition, instruments, performers, and acoustics exactly right for me.
The note had an incredibly broard, rich and deep texture as if dozens of instruments were playing. In an odd way it evoked all of music in perhaps four seconds and began a hour of ectascy.
A great photograph has a similar story. Every inch contributes to the whole yet every each is a picture itself. My photographs aspire to this, but only on a few occasions do I feel they accomplish this. One such image is below.