Under Starters Orders

Reality is a rough draft, one we experience approximately half a second in the past, the time it takes to “render” the model/simulation, to respond to the stimuli. World class sprinters would naturally be thought to be capable of the fastest response times, so in order to potentially increase response (and therefore performance), athletic federations experimented with light (laser signals) rather than auditory (starting pistol) triggers, the premise being that light travels faster than sound and would therefore be rendered/recognised faster; lighting before thunder.  However, across the board, the sprinters responded to sound faster than light.

The physical (visual hegemonic) argument is that light is far more complex than sound, and therefore takes longer to compute.  The “fight or flight” reaction is of course relevant here, in that we are programmed/conditioned to hear our predators before we see them, in other words, from an auditory hegemonic standpoint we are more temporally “tuned in” to sound than light in the moment. Thus able to render, and make meaningful, the pointillist bit before the pixel – in all topographical directions including both the traditional concepts of the harmonic and temporal beats/pulses.

Nothing captures the maximum pointillist BPM potential better than the rudiments of the great jazz drummers, and if Jackson Pollock was indeed inspired by Gene Krupa et al, in this respect, the Pollock canvases of the 1950’s might be described as posthumous “graphic scores” and Pollock himself as a composer. Whereas Georges Seurat’s meticulous mathematical process involved the division of light/colour into chromoluminarist bits, from which the viewer is asked to literally join the dots to create photo reality at a given distance, Pollock is improvising with auditory concepts, and asking us to “hear” the process in its super real totality from any and all perspectives.

The distinction between composer and/as artist is here necessarily (and ought to be) blurred. To my mind, the “art” of composition involves analytical rigour in order to develop a conceptual framework/lattice/language upon which to improvise.

Take it away Buddy, 1+2+3+4…

>> Srinivasa Ramanujan – the man who heard (?) infinity