John Tang

Immersion into Astor Piazolla

Posted in Sketchbook by Jt's Item Roster on April 20, 2012

Why not immerse yourself in your work? That includes entertainment, for your consciousness is the last filter before mental digestion. In my studio apartment in San Francisco Astor Piazzolla played on a Panasonic docking station, about the size of computer speakers. It was hollow and brash. Instead I removed my ipod and plugged my earphones into the machine and into my ears. The space between my thoughts and song was like no other. At first images and gestures suddenly bloomed in my mind. Something between a boxer and Spanish dancer. I was listening to Mr. Piazzolla’s “Libertango.” The boxer and the Spanish dancer didn’t take any form; those were just the words to describe my impression. But they never left me. They took shape once I was able to follow the melody in the violin; in my experience, like how the intervals moved from one note to another, also did the Spanish dancer moved with her shoes of flaming tongues swinging my heart into places. Or the famous boxer Ricardo Finito Lopez. As he raises his gloves before the bout jumps at the drop of a hammer on a golden bell, he steps cautiously towards the center of the ring, waits patiently in front of his opponents, finds openings, aims, and then leaps, landing the leading foot, which by then would land a blow on the jaw (very similar to the Filipino sensation Manny Pacquiao). When the contrapuntal movements between piano and violin, my Spanish dancer finds fight with men’s heart in the auditorium while my boxer pivots around his opponent. I find comprehension in the imagination.

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