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Reflections on the Arts

A man and a woman performing a modern dance.
Image via Wikipedia

Music, visual art, dance, film, writing: all of these spring from the same human impulse — to express ideas, emotions, and, sometimes, as talismans against what cannot be expressed through rational, measured discourse…

The Arts trim away the fat of existence: allowing direct ingress into the depths of mind and the unconscious which are normally the province of daydreams and nightmares alone.

Writing is explicit in its intention — the author has a point or plot to steer the reader through…

Dance and film, being performance-based, are less open to explicit interpretation: these are languages of subtlety and nuance… the actor’s face; the camera’s movement across an edit; the pirouette of a dancer behind a scrim… And yet, the product is nearly always a rehearsed interplay held together by a script, or choreography, or both.

Music and visual art are more emotional in their respective aims; more sensuous, less cerebral (though all great works in any media should engender reflection and possibly inspire thought or action, or — ideally — all of these). For many, the most accessible and ubiquitous of these modes of connection is probably music… Music differs from sheer noise in that it is the deliberate arrangement of silence and sound done in such a manner as to evoke a response in the listener. Static visual art (painting, architecture and non-kinetic sculpture, for example) is the same idea executed with space, color, texture.

Images and sound: two primal methods of expression. These means of communication cut across genre, time, generation: just as the young simultaneously wish to discard and understand their elders — and by extension all that came before – the experienced yearn to grow and transcend their fixed points of view, therefore remaining in the now, and a part of what is to come…

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