Random Borrowing #19: Photographer in Paris

A photography book by a guy called Brassai was today’s random acquisition. The book is “The Eye of Paris”, a bit of an artist profile from this period in his career.



A random page had this photo,


and some text.ParisRandom2

The random page talks about letter writing as an interesting view of a person at a particular time in a particular culture. Most of the page is a fairly aimless ramble, but talking about letters as a medium that  “once completed, cannot be revised”. It is different from artistic performances or artifacts that are truly transient, which is vanishingly rare nowadays, with the incredible recording technologies available.

Perhaps the best musical example of some that “once completed, cannot be revised”, is a live musical performance. Combine this with musical composition, and we get improvisation, which is real time composition.

I read a fascinating book on The Improvising Mind a while back, and it changed the way I look at practicing music, and the way I encourage my kids to practice music. One the interesting things that people who practice improvisation do, is to play a given tune in different keys to get a better feel for the tonal structure of the music. I’ve been encouraging my son, Max, to play simple tunes starting on a different note, in a key that he knows the scale for. He’s enjoying that.

Another technique to practice is to modify the tune in small ways. It’s harder to get the kids to be comfortable mucking around with the tunes. It certainly isn’t something I would have considered when I was their age.