I wrote something yesterday where I was talking about the intimacy of an unheard, only imagined piece of music. What did I mean by intimate? I meant that the imagined music is a present companion to thoughts and experiences, it is an unheard guide to the shaping of experience. Looking at reflections of light on water, I am surrounded by the memory of Ravel, and the memories around those thoughts. Which of these is the experience I'm having now? My senses are gently instructed in the viewing of that light by the emanating record of the sound-memory/ memory-sound.
I also enjoy, but that's different, yes, from looking out the window with my iPod playing. But I've heard the Ravel Jeau d'eaux. I've mangled my fingers through the score at the piano a couple of times. In those ways, I already know the piece - although each listening is in counterpoint with the time and place.
But what I was talking about mostly yesterday was a piece of music I had never heard, may never hear, have only been informed about by second hand. I'd like to hear Symphony of Sirens, composed for the factories, shipyards, artillery and sirens of the port of Baku in 1922. When I go out for walkies with my dogs in the early morning light, I can hear the sound of trains moving along different lines in each direction, crossing through Pittsburgh. I imagine what it would be like to shape those sounds, to create a symphony that generates this same response. Distance, time, persepctive. I've never heard the piece - I think there's a reconstruction recording available and I imagine with some excellent sampling and a big enough performance space you could put together something impressive enough. But Symphony of Sirens exists only in my imagination, only in the quiet time between dog sniffs and pooh where I can feel the sinews of my body reconstruct the quotidien traffic sounds into a musical structure of breath, body, environment, idea, memory, anticipation.