Sunday, February 19, 2006


A lot of stuff happens in between the time an idea forms in the mind of a musician to when that sound is heard and interpreted in the mind of the listener. And it happens real fast.

In the case of a cellist, split-second decisions are made in regard to the placement of fingers on strings, speed, pressure, angle and position of the bow in relation to those strings, which creates vibration of the strings, which transfers to the bridge of the instrument, which causes the top of the instrument to vibrate, transferring the vibration along a wooden sound post inside the instrument to the back of the instrument, causing the air inside the instrument to vibrate at the same rate as everything else, exiting from the f-shaped sound holes on the surface of the instrument, joining with extraneous vibrations of the various parts of the instrument as they travel toward a listener’s ears, which pick up the vibrations as kinetic energy and transfers them as electromagnetic energy to the portion of the brain which interprets those impulses as sound and then makes split-second decisions as to the nature of those sounds (happy, sad, angry or perplexed), all while experiencing a continuous flow of changing sound patterns within what we call a piece of music.

My daughter has decided to make the pursuit of perfecting this Rube Goldberg machine her life’s work. This is a photo of her cello, taken yesterday, while she is home visiting from college. It’s a clinical view, much like the clinical description of making music, above. You see, an idea forms in the mind of a photographer, who makes decisions in regard to light, positioning and angle of the subject, who then in turn …

Click on picture to enlarge. Photograph © 2006 James Jordan.

1 comment:

W. J. St. Christopher said...

Your photos are stunning! Thanks for sharing.