a consequence of notes a pure flow of affect & block

Michael Houston on the radio, Concert, cutting in halfway through the conversation, apparently conducted at the keyboard – words to the effect of: You can’t nail down just one emotion and say this is what this bar or phrase means. Music exists as an artform. And to my mind what makes it great is that it moves.

In life you don’t feel one emotion at a time. You feel one which leads into another and that flows into another, and so on.

Music gives us this movement. It is above all movement.

… each of Chopin’s Études deals with a problem, which it works out. … I find I only need to play a set of the Études in the morning to be as warmed up as I’ll ever be. … They are unforgiving pieces in terms of the fact that they are completely transparent. [plays examples] … One note out and you can hear it immediately. Whereas with Liszt [plays examples] this is not the case. … I find with Chopin that I must play for accuracy, to play exactly each note as it is written.


What, by way of comparison, are the dramatist’s problems? I mean technical problems. … And when we exclude those situational problems, like mad man on a blasted heath what does he do? or those relational problems, like how to respond to the psychotic threatening to kill himself… which anyway are not particularities… what are they? compositional? critical? And are they the same as the actor’s problems – technical: voice, body, expression, isolation. But then there’s Declan Donnellan talking about block. And the block exists as much for the writer/dramatist as for the actor.

…block is the right place to start a ‘principles of composition’?