Attention (and memory)

Attention (and memory)


Jumping between attention toward myself,
the others,
what we create together.


Dans les arbres’ clarinettist Xavier Charles often relates strong visual experiences after our concerts. He often sees inner visual narratives while playing. And when he explains after a concert, they sound like the craziest dreams.

I have never experienced this, myself. I often even have difficulties remembering musical passages after a concert. I can remember some, but often I have forgotten most of it, or I do not recognize passages that the other band members talk about. And if I do remember, it is often connected to what I played myself at that time. I remember what I played, and what in the immediate sonic surroundings I related my contribution to, during the time of performance.

My musical memory often seems to go mostly via my own playing. I find that a bit disappointing, to be honest. I would like to be a radar – to pick up everything (even if I know it is not possible). I would also like my memory to be less tied to my own playing. It is as if I am a little out of balance when it comes to collective and individual focus.


Or am I?


Listening back to recordings, I find that I am indeed obviously listening to the others. I am relating my own music-making to them, and in correspondence with them. A required awareness in the performance situation seems to be present, and in retrospect there seem to be a balance between collectivity and individuality. It is my immediate musical memory after a performance, the memory of my own attention, that puzzles me.


It is as if the awareness and the presence in situ
have a broader attention span than I can grasp in retrospect,
a broader attention span than I can memorize.


I also find it interesting that there seem to be very different kinds of attention in play when we play. We are dreaming, working, listening, playing.   


Note to self: never trust my musical memory