Wednesday, April 1, 2009
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Thursday, February 5, 2009
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Thursday, March 1, 2007
So I hereby announce the latest, greatest "muse of the piano" - "ERATA" --- how did she come to be? Well, let's start at the beginning with her ancestor "ERATO":
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In Greek mythology Erato is one of the Greek muses. The name would mean "lovely" if it were actually derived from Eros, as Apollonius of Rhodes playfully suggested in the invocation to Erato that begins Book III of his Argonautica. Erato was named with the other muses in Hesiod's Theogony. She was invoked at the beginning of a lost poem Rhadine that was referred to and briefly quoted by Strabo,: the love story of Rhadine made her supposed tomb on the island of Samos a pilgrimage site for star-crossed lovers in the time of Pausanias, and Erato was linked again with love in Plato's Phaedrus; nevertheless, even in the third century BCE, when Apollonius wrote, the Muses were not yet as inextricably linked to specific types of poetry as they became.
Erato is the Muse of lyric poetry, especially love and erotic poetry. In the Orphic hymn to the Muses, it is Erato who charms the sight. Since the Renaissance she is often shown with a wreath of myrtle and roses, holding a lyre, or a small kithara, a musical instrument that Apollo or she herself invented. In Simon Vouet's representations (illustration); at her feet two turtle-doves are eating seeds. Other representions may show her holding a golden arrow, reminding one of the "eros", the feeling that she inspires in everybody, and at times she is accompanied by the god Eros, holding a torch.
Erato is certainly an appropriate muse for pianists, but there's something seemingly 'masculine' in the name. Much of music terminology of today is based on latin and Italian text -- words that end in "o" are usually masculine, and words that end in "a" are usually feminine --- wouldn't it make more sense if our modern-day musical muse were called "Erata"?....
ErataBartolomeo Cristofori). But here is the interesting part -- if you ask most pianists about their experiences with their pianos, they'll begin describing this relationship almost as if the piano were alive -- THE essence of their soul and creativity.
The word "Erata" seems a much more appropriate name for such a beautiful beast! The piano has a 'feminine' quality - with it's curvaceous design and delicate mechanics - with momentary bursts of fortissimo -- truly wonderful qualities indeed! But the most important part of Erata is that she truly encapsulates the raw beauty and emotion of creation - a seductress in wooden clothing. For in the end, the pianist is powerless to the emotions of love and passion -- and ERATA sings her soulful tone!!!! ERATA, I pledge thee my most profound affection and devotion!.....
Friday, February 16, 2007
This painting is the perfect way to open this blog - it's titled "musical angel" - but there's a lot more to it than it seems... This was painted by Fiorentino - an Italian painter during the Renaissance period.
I first saw this painting at the Uffizi in Florence. There was something 'magical' about the painting, but what was it? Was it the colors? Was it the style? I couldn't quite figure it out.
The image of the musical angel stayed with me for years - until one day I received a framed copy as a present.
As I spent more time with the painting, I started paying special attention to the expression on the angel's face. More time went by, and I noticed the connection between the lute and the way the angel was holding it. His face said 'pure bliss'. But why?
One day, it came to me: the angel was deaf! He had to hold his head against the instrument so he could FEEL the vibrations. As a musician, this discovery had a profound impact on me. I always knew music was more than 'notes' - it was about 'feeling' - but here it was, expressed in art!
So, in the end, this musical angel wasn't just another chubby cherub....