Dream, Rhythm, and Melody

Dear Friend of my Heart,

Rhythm and melody are not exclusive. At the moment I come from a feeling that to go for this separation is an antiquated pedagogical practice, and it would be better for you and me to start over from another place. Movement seems to be a good place to start and it is also quite the in-thing, especially among thinkers of art. It would be quite misleading to make claims about movement as a new ideal or a new temperament. As long has there been thought and practice, there has been an orientation towards movement. There have been those who have found the flow of the river and her softer tempers to be more agreeable than the hard being of the rock. There were also those who looked at the rocks long enough to see that they were not static or non-fluid entities. To these instances of ideation and speech I raise both my arms in salutation. I would love to have tea with the rock-watching kind. Maybe you could introduce me to someone.

What catches my fancy is the dance of the guitarists fingers (my own earlier today)… the other dance is that of the writers fingers. I wonder why we don’t call them typers now. The typers of poetry and the typers of prose, and the typers who just wouldn’t subscribe to either of those.

Why would the professor say that a story is a lie? I do not, in my questioning, come from the postmodern fever that overcame me not too long ago. When I say that a story isn’t a truth or a lie, or that fiction is neither of those, I, admittedly, might still be burning with the oh so enchanting nietzschen spirit, but I also happen to have put my faith on dreams and on beauty, rather than on the good old fact of the matter. Dreams. Not as nietzschen as the intoxicated fervor of music, another Nietzsche-kenner might wish to remind me. Forgive me dear friend, but I am too intoxicated by music to tell the difference. Apollo no longer appalls me as much, and Dionysus no longer… well… maybe… let’s keep that line of thought unfinished…

In my mind I had wanted to write you about the problem of self… myself… my self… I felt a very strong attachment there today. Is the self the enemy of all that is clear and true? My self is still on the top shelf. It is boastful in its own way. I am boastful in my own way.

Are you with you today as I am with me today?

Eager to hear from you.

Yours in curiosity,
Prashant Nawani


  1. Pedagogical practice in art is to do. All instruction centers on that, I can do it/ I cant yet do it/ how do I do it?

    Its not theory dependent and the feedback, the success or error of it is immediate. Teaching speeds things up but its not necessary, trail and error works but takes longer.

    The human body has not changed that much over time so antiquated pedagogical practice is the rule rather than the expedition. i.e. with singing, projection of sound is not open to a range of differing techniques. You can have any number of different styles but the basics depend entirely on our physical anatomy.

    1. I took my time to respond to you because I did not really know what to say. I have been living with the question. Mostly I agree with what you are saying, however there is something that is certainly outside of the very concern that both you and I have expressed. It has to do with the path one takes to arrive at their music. There is no musical intuition that is completely prior to and independent of structure and well formulated styles and even if one does not undergo the process of training one is educated by listening.
      Trial and error would not be the way I would describe the path that I was trying to take when I write this. It is more of moving with intuition and awareness. There is profound difference between these approaches, these ways of describing method… Trail and error posits a preexisting right way, which you perhaps described as the one limited by human anatomy and also perhaps the nature of sound…. However there is already a universe of musical possibilities and ways of relating to the instrument which have not yet come to be expressed.
      Once expressed they can be described by the given systems and vocabulary without much difficulty, but as an approach to expressing oneself, I do believe there is much room for living outside of the pedagogical…

  2. Indeed. Training saves time. You learn in a couple of years what would take you four or five years if untrained.

    In terms of human anatomy, my training is in drama, vocal projection. The methods used wither learned or found come with working from the body and discovering how sound is projected and amplified using flesh and bone.

    Craft aspect does not differ from one person to the next or one culture to the next.

    In terms of inflection ( how I would term expression), always something new to discover, that can’t be taught it has to be found.

    Not something you learn by teaching. I had some very skilled teachers, learning does not happen in the class room, more something that unfolds through life.

    More like a laboratory than a class room. Experimental processes. Or at least that is my experience of education here.

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