Motions, real and imaginary

Springs and Non-Visible Motions


Part two:   SPRINGS: STORING UP POWER FOR A SUDDEN RELEASE           to follow

Part three: THE COMBINATION OF IMAGINATION AND SPRINGS               to follow


The body is able to reproduce the sensation that certain physical motions are occurring even when the cause of those motions is no longer physically applied but only imagined.


Raise your arm up into the air, say several feet.  Afterwards, repeat the same gesture but with your eyes closed.  Though you are deprived of a visual confirmation that this motion is occurring in the external space that vision provides us with, you will not be without sensations.  You will still have the totality of inner, kinaesthetic sensations that occurred in conjunction with the movement.  The difference is that you are more focused on these internal sensations because you are not distracted by the external sensations from the eyes.

The more one concentrates on these internal sensations the easier it is to loose your awareness of just how far in external space the arm has risen so far.  

This ability to focus on a body motion internally without reference to visual space leads to some astonishing abilities on the part of pianists.

Effects measured in terms of duration in Time.

The totality of inner sensations that you have when raising your arm, can occur in the same amount of time as when you first did the motion with the eyes open, but more importantly it can occur, in its fully sensed form, in shorter or longer periods of time.

In an extreme case, to an outside observer, the arm may no longer seem to be moving at all, or at best is moving very slowly, like the watching sun’s shadow get longer and longer near sunset, or watching the motion of the minute hand in fully mechanical clock. To the pianist the inner sense of motion never stops occurring.  All of this occurs when the pianist’s eyes are closed, or when pianist focuses attention mostly on the inner sensations of the body while the body is in motion.

In its extreme cases any given motion can be sensed as occurring virtually without limits in time or limits in space.

A further important result.

The totality of inner sensations that are experienced during a motion that lasts one second need no longer occupy one second in consciousness, but can take place in much less than a second or indefinitely more than a second, in just an instant of time or in an indefinitely long duration of time.  The totality of these sensations can now be deployed over any duration of time, with limits only at infinity* seconds or at zero seconds.** 

Both this compression and dilation of time and of space are important tools to the pianist, applicable to many situations, with only the most obvious be when playing very slowly or very fast.


* Even as one approaches the limit of infinity, though minutes, or hours or days have passed while executing this one motion, you still can never loose the internal sense of motion occurring at every conscious instant.  If you consult what is happening externally with the eyes, you may be very surprised as to where in space the motion has brought you so far.  Thus to the outside observer nothing may be happening, and there is no detection of physical motion.   The ‘outside’ observer includes the pianist herself when perceiving mostly through the eyes.

** similarly, as one approaches the limit of a total of zero seconds in which to complete a motion, again, the observer will see no trace of motion occurring through space, and only notices that in what seems an instant of time, the arm, or other body part, seems magically to have reappeared in another place, without there being the perception of intervening motion through visual space.   This is certainly true of watching many great pianists at work, for instance: we see a minimum of effort and movement as the pianist’s hand suddenly moves for instance several octaves.

🙂 Comments, questions, disagreements, all welcome.



Leave Comment
Older posts

Leave a Reply