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Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

The second workshop I attended was "The Creative Edge: How Do You Maintain it?" run by Miha Pogacnik, the Cultural Ambassador for The Republic of Slovenia. Miha, violin in hand, deconstructed a Bach Fugue passage by passage. He explained the musical elements and got us to really hear each transition. Then he created a narrative while scribbling on paper the image. It started with a tough command/control image (teenage feelings), pressure, dropping out, networking and communicating, love, chaos (middle age crisis), breaking through, questioning, returning to identity, rising up and finally rebirth and integration. It was really beautiful. I'd never had music deconstructed, much less such a wonderful narrative. I'll never listen to Bach or any other classical music piece in the same way.

I found that these images of the various phases were very useful in thinking about the transitions in my life. The idea of chaos, breaking away, questioning and returning back to my identity resonated with me a great deal. This process also reminded me of Chungliang Al Huang's Tai Ji class that I took where he helped us understand how there were a variety of types of energy and learning how to move between and transform the variety of energies helped you build your own energy and identity.

Good stuff.


Sounds like now is a good time to pick up a copy of Angela Hewitt's (relatively) new recording of the Goldberg Variations. (And maybe have a listen while reading some Hofstadter.)

Haven't heard Hewitt's version. How does it compare to Glenn Gould's classic version?

I remember taking Miha's workshop, and being struck by his use of the term the "holy zero point" as the moment when, in the music (and presumably in our lives), it becomes clear that that the music has shifted to a new direction, and that whatever we are hanging onto is gone.

It was lovely, and Miha is truly gifted. His Castle Borl, where business people go in and human beings come out, is pretty neat.

I don't have a great vocabulary for the nuances of classical music performance, but I'd say this: in Hewitt's GV you hear more Bach, while in either of Gould's recordings you hear more Gould. (Not too fair of me since I don't know the first Gould recording really). Google has good answers tho': hewitt gould goldberg.

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Joi on the joy of the Creative Edge from » LittleThinkTank Elsewhere «
September 6, 2003 2:28 PM

And deconstructing Bach Read More