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"Metaphors and Architecture."© ArchNet.org. October, 2009.at MIT. This is not the same but related
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April 22, 1993, on the evening of Earth Day's twenty-third anniversary my wife and I attended a concert of The Clementi Ensemble in a pre-engineered metal building" in the Dhahran Academy in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. But my mind was not on the concert, as such, but the context and the circumstances of what we all expected to experience from these four fine musicians. We also compared this experience to when we helped John McConnel and UThant stage" in central park (that day the United Nations declared Earth Day a world legal holiday); and, the year before the Mayor of New York in Union Square. Indeed, the evening was replete with making leaps back into history to seemingly unrelated events.
Even the musical program of Schubert, Beethoven, Mozart and Dvorak conjured "barocco" visions of courtly recitals of other periods and places. We also noticed the many languages and dresses of the audience and yet we were all attending this one concert. It then occurred to me that we were all participating in a metaphoric event which had everything to do with architecture. Perhaps this event and our role as an audience and participants in this metaphor could shed light on the user's role in works of architecture. Because, that night we were both audience, participants and users.
The persons of the metaphor
So much has already been written about the relationship between music and architecture. Particularly about music's design components and overall modes and meanings. But this night I realized that the audience to this concert was not unlike a building's . We both had a relationship to a Context: weaving together of words, connections; coherence; the interrelated conditions in which something exists. We were an a group of listeners, spectators and perceptors; reading, viewing and listening in public. Metaphors, Architecture & Music
We were amongst those to whom things were made audible by the originator, designer, assembler and composer of the works. Before playing each piece one of the musicians would remind us to remember the composer, his intentions about the work and his life in relation to the work. It occurred to me that I had not read anything about metaphor's relationship to architecture. Particularly about their performance. Yet it was the performance in which we all were involved. Having already been to other recitals, in addition to listening to the sound of the music one also watches the communication between players. It is as though one is watching a "musical conversation". Recitals seem to have that quality.
Each plays the libretto composed to create interactions between players. But they add so much more by the movement of their body, head and eyes. Their face expresses agreement and satisfaction about the timing, quality and acoustics of what they hear and see. We are watching them make a metaphor between themselves and the composer, the audience, and all using the years of skill with their instruments. This evenings instruments were the violin, cello, viola and piano. I noticed the way in which each of the players positioned themselves on their chairs in relationship to each other, the stage and the audience. They could do little about the theatre or the metal building except ask that only during the performance the airconditioning be shut off because of its' noise. All musicians, dancers and actors have specific routines, responses and actions which as letters in a word, words in sentence, etc, string together to complete the intended metaphor. Metaphors, Architecture & Music
Originator to User
I began to sketch and plot their positions which then led me to recall how attentive we were in selecting where we'd sit to watch the performance. We also noticed others who did the same. This was one of the components of how we, the audience, must participate in completing the making of the metaphor :the one originally intended by the composer and the theater's architect. I recalled the way in which we perceive buildings and the analogies between seat selection and positioning in buildings. When we enter restaurants and snack shops we look for views, proximity to fountain features, exits, entrances, etc. When we sit in living rooms or lounges we try to find comfortable seats with views, position in space, location to perimeter, center, etc.
In planning the layout of an existing apartment or house we care for locating each piece of furniture and functional item on the basis of our vistas, views, position, hierarchies and priorities. Our experience with each building type is generic with both interchangeable and unique considerations. We take responsibility for the control of what we are going to experience in any given situation depending on the length of time, importance, social standing or privacy of the situation. We may settle for one position on a subway ride but yet another in a bus with a view. One position in a concert yet another in a metal auditorium building Aside from our instincts for comfort and obvious mundane necessities we are also aware of yet another responsibility. Metaphors, Architecture & Music
We are completing metaphor intentions by the architect of the metaphor in which we find ourselves. We instinctively look to optimize our relationship to the architects and composers generique birth characteristic of the whole group and serves to control the projection of characteristics, specifying the structure, accommodating a particular function, or accommodating the function of other form generators. intentions and his design parameters. We are aware that we are the final players in a scenario devised well before our arrival. We are kind of actors or performers playing out the rationale of the place. This then was the link between music and architec¬ture relevant to contemporary orientation. Differences between music and architecture Architecture and music are apparently different from one another. One is static and the other dynamic.
One is performed the other . They are both experienced in different ways. Music is best experienced by being physically passive while architecture active. Music, as such is experienced by the ears, while architecture by the sense of vision, touch, smell and sound (acoustics). Particularly these days when we can appreciate music through electronic media; or or the connosseur by reading street music. The differences between architecture are vast: one is a while the other is an applied art. Indeed they both have a spiritual, sensual and unseen dimension but music will not shelter nor materially limit and bound space. The differences focused my attention beyond their Dance music and, background music (muzac), ballet, etc. are exceptions as are rooms where we sit, lie, stand still etc. Metaphors, Architecture & Music
Architecture's perceptions are in operations and perceptions in relation to operations while a connoistre understands the details, technique or principles of music, architecture, painting, etc. and is competent to act as a critical judge as one who enjoys with discrimination and appreciation of the subtleties of our metaphors we are each the cognoscere. Paul Weiss says in his book " Nine basic arts" that music and architecture both limit and bound space. (but not materially: different technique, limiting and bounding) aesthics and analogous artistic dimensions to the way they are completed metaphor we can better understand the commonalities and differences between origination, making and experience. All the sizes, heights, clearances and dimensions of rooms and corridors are contingent upon people and the quantity of people a facility must accommodate. The Metaphor of music and architecture
Metaphor is a literary term which means "carrying-over"; it associates meanings, emotions, things, times and places which otherwise would not have been related. Metametaphorically times and places (or any essence thereof) known to have a preferential, specific or localized use in one context are explicitly employed in another. One familiar and one strange term are usually composed into a single form where one term normally used in one context is brought over into another with the object of illuminating; making more evident © something in the second domain which otherwise remains obscure. The best of metaphors allow us to express two truths at the same time about two times, the past and future; the past can illuminate the future or the future the past. They are interactive. Both ideas converge on the idea of some activity, vision, or idea. Please see attached for complete and illustrated work and I'd welcome your email:bariefezbarringten.gmail.com