Sunday, December 22, 2013

Reflections: Artists, Connection, Longevity; A Short Note by Payman Akhlaghi (2013)

Reflections: Artists, Connection, Longevity
Payman Akhlaghi (Draft 2)

First Published: December 16th, 2013, LA,,
under Reflections: Artists, Connection, Longevity .

Actors Joan Fontaine (Rebecca, Suspicion, Jane Eyre) and Peter O'Toole (Lawrence of Arabia, What's New Pussycat, Man of La Mancha, Venus) passed away recently. Few of us ever met them, yet to a degree, it seems as if we've lost someone whom we knew.

It's not just about cinema and the publicity mechanism that surrounds it. The loss of an artist, whatever the medium, and these two were wonderful artists, seems to be felt more or less like a personal loss by those who appreciated their art. It comes down to the meaning of the work of art, and to the connection.

I am thinking of how we relate to a Bach-Busoni-Horowitz , as they converged in a single performance; a Sinatra appearance even in a recording; or a Michelangelo sculpture, even via a faithful replica. There's something of a human contact established across time and space through the art work, which allows an impression of the core humanity of the artist to reach us in familiar terms. There is a sense of presence, and that entails a continuing presence, whether it be in the re-sounding of a sonata by Beethoven, reading a novel by Hesse, standing before an original by Picasso, or pondering the Stonehenge by some unknown artists or artisans of the past millennia. There lies a hint at the lures of the art as an answer to humanity's general quest for longevity, if not eternity, through an attempt to leave a lasting mark behind.

But then you think of our rapture in the ephemeral art of musical improvisation, or dance and theater for that matter, and you feel compelled to question it all over again. The answer maybe in our attempt to perceive, embody, experience an understanding of the timeless, of the eternal, in the space between the artist and the audience, captured and manifest in the work of art, even when the artist and the audience, and even the work of art, are one and the same; even though the eternal might be none but a projection of us, a transcendental aspect of our creative and perceptive imagination.

© 2013, Payman Akhlaghi. All rights reserved.

(*) Payman Akhlaghi is a composer, pianist and piano teacher based in Los Angeles. His repertoire covers Classical music, as well as Persian (Iranian) Music, Pop Music, and Film Music. For information on the lessons in the Greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, West Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Encino, Brentwood, etc. please call: 310-208-2927. Thank you.

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