Music: Unspoken Words
Où les mots sont au-dessous, la musique remplit
Among the things I am forever happily indebted to (my left hand, my bike, and of course, my family, etc.), music remains at the top. In simpler terms, music expresses what words may never be able to.
After all, as Friedrich Nietzsche (quite aptly) summarised, "without music, life would be a mistake."
a tribute to Chopin
Perhaps you've sleep-walked, sleep-talked, and maybe sleep-sang...
but have you ever
Hmm, I think my zzz's look a bit peculiar...
Too bad the orchestra is usually long-concluded by the time I wake up.
THE ORCHESTRA SPECIALLY RESERVED FOR MELATONIN
On countless occasions - I'd be more-than-half-asleep, and all of a sudden the philharmonic orchestra of my neocortex¹ and hippocampus² cues itself into full performance - for the rest of the cortices and gyri and sulci.
So I'm wandering around in the dark, hoping I'm going down some flight of stairs, and will reach the study without knocking over random furniture or wall décor...only to crash into my mom, who asks why the heck I'm still wandering around the staircase at 11:30pm. So then, I tell her:
At that point, I rush into the study, grab a pencil and paper, and start doodling circles with stems as quickly as possible before my poor memory takes over and swallows the whole symphony. She's shaking her head, sighing, outside.
Someone ought to research why the best orchestras always play when we're paper- and pen- and piano-less...
Just as I can't finish reading a book without harbouring an unquenchable urge to write one, I can't seem to learn any piece of sheet music without writing one. Composing has thus been with me since I learned to play the piano.
While I tend not to retain much of the midnight orchestra, there are a few occasions where I am lucky enough to be (mostly) conscious when the first few notes sound.
Mini-orchestral & vocal arrangement
c minor | Common Time
Soprano voice, N.L.; violin; violoncello; timpani; piano
Miscellaneous untitled compositions
Completed yet titleless works...names are the one thing I am not so creative with when it comes to completion...
vocal arrangement in f minor
d minor | Common Time
Soprano voice, W/L; violin; trumpet; timpani; harpischord?
Original Russian lyrics and tap routine, performed for Coconut Club, February 2016.
Sailing into Tomorrow
4-part SATB choral arrangement; piano accompaniment
F Major | Common Time
Soprano, alto, tenor, bass, piano
Note: First full SATB choral arrangement.
Travelling through time and history with a violin, harp, timpani, and piano entourage featuring vocals with lyrics. A harmony-filled story of adventures bookmarked into memories and what it means to breathe, be alive, and fundamentally, be human.
1. neocortex: associated with imagination and memory; specifically the medial temporal and frontal lobes, posterior cingulate, retrosplenial cortices (neocortical), and lateral parietal and temporal areas (Schacter and Addis, 2020). A 2015 metanalysis by Benoit and Schacter identified the default network comprising of the medial prefrontal cortex, lateral temporal and parietal cortices, posterior cingulate, retrosplenial cortices, and medial temporal lobe (including the hippocampus) to show localised overlapping activity regarding memory and simulation (i.e. the construction process, in reference to imagining) (Schacter and Addis, 2020). Additionally, areas such as parts of the superior frontal gyri that are not found within the core network are included in the broader default network.
2. hippocampus: strongly correlated with memory and also imagination (through scene construction), as supported by both the scene construction theory and the construction episodic simulation hypothesis (Schacter and Addis, 2020). However, it is important to note that memory and imagination is not limited to hippocampal activity, as Schacter and Addis emphasise in the construction episodic simulation hypothesis in contrast to the scene construction theory. The construction episodic simulation hypothesis therefore discusses extra-hippocampal aspects such as parahippocampal gyrus and retrosplenial cortical activity (contextual information) as well as heightened visual cortical activity (remembered events) (Schacter and Addis, 2020).
Schacter, D. & Addis, D. R. (2020). Memory and Imagination: Perspectives on Constructive Episodic Stimulation. In Abraham, A. (Ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of the Imagination, pp. 112, 118-119. Cambridge University Press.