To move or not to move; or how to move.
In video essay V3a ‘Hindered movements in the summer heat’, I was concerned with the languidness of timing and character drawn from the expressive body movements. The oscillation between motion and stillness needs to be coordinated within the sound producing movements. The obvious solution, when looking at the score, is to move when playing, and freeze on the rests.
Ex. 1 The alternation of motion and stopping of the body movement, marked by arrows (motion) and 'V' (stops) in the first bar of the Summer concerto (Vivaldi, 1725).
However, the apparent logic behind this realization is not so obvious in practice. The coordination of the ensemble on the sounding eighth notes happens as a consequence of a joint bodily impulse on the rest. This means that the body movement triggers the motion of the bow, but during the actual sound producing movements of the bow, the body remains inactive.
Ex. 2 The bodily impulse on the rest triggers the bow action (Vivaldi, 1725).
The following video example demonstrates two different movement strategies. The first employs a bodily impulse on the rest; the other employs movement on the sounding eighth notes, while the rest serves as a 'hindrance'. In order to highlight the physical aspect of the gesture in this example, I have removed the audio.
Vid. 1 A comparison of two differing movement strategies in the interpretation of the opening bars of the Summer concerto.
Contrary to the common practice to the common practice of placing the impulse on the rest, it appeared that moving on the sounding eighth notes and employing the rests as hindrances expressed the implied kinaesthetic action most palpably.
Being a leader, I often have to solve a problem to employ expressive gestures, but at the same time give clear coordinative impulses to the ensemble. In the following video I observe how the coordinating impulses can be merged, or be in agreement, with the expressive gestures. The impulse on the downbeat, necessary for coordination but incoherent within the gestural structure, can assume an anticipatory function. Thus, the impulse does not represent an accentuation, but a clear preparation for the following movement.
Vid. 2 Coordinating impulses in the context of expressive gestures.