A performative definition executed by Glenn Gould!
Maybe you would ask yourself what does this post has to do with my research?
Well it has to do regarding my reflection on what means excellence and how it is related with passion and how can one come closer to it? I am an admirer of great intellects and good performances, performances that exhale passion (what ever the performance is).
But when it comes to what defines something as “good or excellent” and what could be features to look at, things get subjective and tricky. Subjective because it dependes on the subject who is stating the “goodness-excellence” of something and tricky because subjectivity has always been a muddy terrain.
It is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Would it be also that truth is in the mind of the beholder? Well this is getting us into a muddy terrain I am afraid. Coming back to the starting point of excellence and good and its relation to passion, in my view, one of the ingredientes that makes me always awe is the extent to which a performer is connected to her/his piece of performance -no matter if the piece is a piano concert or if it is a theater play, or a research-. There is something in the performer that I do admire and value very much and it is the passion that (s)he exhales while performing. The face of Glenn Gould is a poem, a poem of love to music and clarity. His connection to the piano keys is absolutely marvellous. He talks to the piano, he whispers some words that connects him to each of the notes no matter if they are complete notes, semitones or octaves, he loves each and every note and harmony that comes out of his piano, even more, that is not jet out of the piano, the one he is willing to pull out the next second. His hands are connected to each key and at the same time to each note he plays and to the melody hi is creating while playing.
I am just a sneaky lover of classic music far from being an expert or a knowledgeable person but this performance embodies for me this connection amongst the original composer -Bach- and the executer; between each finger and the keys of the piano; between each note and his breath; between the movement of his mouth and the pace of his melody…
It is a vivid example of a profound love of what one does and of how passion and excellence walk hand in hand most of the times. It is an example that inspires me and in a sense guides my journey as a researcher. Bravo for Glenn Gould!