The seminal aesthetic influences in my life
April 22, 2017
The seminal aesthetic influences in my life have been:
- Fritz Reiner (conductor)
- Henri Bergson (philosopher)
- Merce Cunningham (dancer and choreographer)
- Ingmar Bergman (film director)
- Prospect Park (Brooklyn)
My musical self is a product of all of these,
Reiner: for me, the greatest of the great conductors. After God,the great composers, the great conductor is the next link in the great chain of being.
Bergson, the philosopher who made me understand what time is, and therefore what music is (the art of time).
Cunningham: the dancer who showed me that abstract motion in time, articulated in space, without help of music or any other art, can by itself, reveal a profound and integrated aesthetic structure,
Bergman: for me the greatest of all film directors. The timing and rhythm of changes in camera angle, the spatial composition of a frame, the ability to stir the greatest depths of the soul with a chance, understated motion. I think he is one of the several greatest artists of the twentieth century. My favorite films: Persona, Wild Strawberries, the Seventh Seal, Through a Glass Darkly. My second favorites – well it’s a long list.
Prospect Park: the only place rather than a person on my list. For me, during High School, it was my Walden, where I sat and wrote juvenile philosophic thoughts in imitation of Pascal’s “Pensées” and learned the depths to which nature could stir me.