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Pat's Response to Smalley and Beckett
Well, I'm not going to pretend that I understood or enjoyed the Smalley reading. Dealing with infinities like time and space quite frankly bewilder and scare me. Nevertheless, there were a few concepts familiar enough for me to relate to:
Personal Space: This term is so widely recognized and used in a non-musical context that's it takes effort to remove the common connotation of a creeper/stalker and instill its meaning in terms of sound. But after thinking about, I think i decided that the best works of music, in one way or another, eventually cross the line into my personal space -- they become a part of me, and resonate with all my body.
Nested Space: The idea of a "space within a space" is to be intriguing, but also interminably baffling. There is always a space within a space. Where does that space end? Where we can no longer see it? The author describes three "subzones" which combine to make a single, coherent space. Perhaps this is all the space we can perceive?Infinities...like I said, scare me.
Ensemble Space: As a performer, this especially stuck out to me. No doubt, the space of performers is somehow sacred. I think of theater, and how it is often said that there are 3 walls to a stage, with the audience peering in through the fourth. But this necessary separation seems contradictory in a way, given my thoughts on how art ultimately must cross that fourth wall and become a part of one's "personal space."
As for Beckett -- it read like a great horror story. Being stranded alone in an imperceptible space for an unmeasurable length of time would be Hell. The mystery of the reading for me was in the darkness, as well as in the protagonist’s immobility. Lacking all senses, he is only able to make crude guesses at what is going on around him. I suppose what I gleaned most from this reading was that it is essential for one to interact with his environment if he is to learn anything from it.