Fiddling With A Few Thoughts, Pt. 5
Fiddling With Ideomotion
Two months ago, I did not know the difference between a fiddler and a violinist. I now understand that they use (essentially) the same tool, but their differences lie in how they use it and this understanding has led me to think about movement therapy in the context of these two similar, yet ultimately different, performers.
Classical music is enduring, evoking feeling in it’s listeners across the world, yet it is only background music in my own home. It does not grab my attention or bring me pleasure. Music performed by Martin Hayes, on the other hand, grabbed my attention when I heard it for the first time. I understand, however, that different people have different responses to different music across the world based on their own experiences, likes and dislikes. What sounds good to me may not sound good to another and vice versa. Why would movement be any different?
Classical music became what it most essentially is, a dialogue between the two powerful sides of our nature instinct and intelligence. And there began to be a difference at the point between the art of improvisation and the art of composition. An improvisor senses and plays the next cool move but a composer is considering all possible moves, testing them out, prioritizing them out until he sees how they can form a powerful and coherent design of ultimate and enduring coolness. (Michael Tilson Thomas, 8:55)
Such is the way with exercise for painful conditions. It has been studied and talked about endlessly for decades. Initially improvised, the culture has developed a handful of “ultimate” and “enduring” activities designed to give an individual the best chance for a successful outcome. But much like music, just because it endures does not mean it will touch each “listener”.
When I was searching for something to listen to, I longed to be able to perform my own music. I wondered if I would be satiated if I could perform what I felt I needed to hear, but I lacked the ability to express myself. There was music within me, but I could not get it out. As a result, I was “stuck” listening to others people’s music, none of it fulfilling to me at that time, in that context. I was living (unhappily) in a sonic void.
Eventually, after a month of trial and error and listening to hundreds of artists, I heard something that satiated me; until that time, I had felt like something was missing. It would have been wonderful if I had been able to express myself from the start.
. . . .
I suppose that I didn’t believe that someone could do something emotional and touching and deep and from your heart and expect to exist in the rational world so I ignored the possibilities of playing how I felt. (Martin Hayes, 5:50)