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Seeing images when you play (Read 1484 times)

Offline tinyhands

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Seeing images when you play
« on: February 17, 2017, 05:35:31 PM »
Hello, wasn't sure what board to post this on.
I'm curious to know if others and indeed if all pianists see random images or think of certain things/people when they play a piece. I get it with every piece I play, but it's nothing that's connected to the style of the piece..it's much more abstract than that. for example and this probably sounds crazy saying it out loud...the last few pieces i'I've learned and (it's always at the same part of the piece) I have had flashes into my head of random images such as - a crocodile, my sister, a girl I at my work who I have never spoken to, my friend's ex boyfriend (again..don't even know him that well) a boat on the water, a woman waiting for her husband to come back from war..and the word banana. Haha even writing it down it looks nuts! I totally get that you would associate images to do with the style of a piece..but this is just random.  the only way I can describe it is as if you were recalling your dream from the night before and images flash into your head.  I do have very vivid dreams every night too which I always remember, I wonder if it's how certain people's brains work, dunno. My husband for example never dreams and has no idea what i'm talking about when I mention my 'piano images' Does anyone else experience this. It's the randomness of the images that I find bizarre. I wonder what it is that prompts them?

Offline timothy42b

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Re: Seeing images when you play
«Reply #1 on: February 17, 2017, 06:56:20 PM »
I have a touch of synesthesia and I see shapes associated with notes and chords.

The more vivid dreamlike images you have is something I've not experienced. 

I find watching ballet impossible because there are images in front of my eyes on the stage, but the music is making images in my head that conflict. 
Tim

Offline ted

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Re: Seeing images when you play
«Reply #2 on: February 17, 2017, 09:46:30 PM »
Hello, wasn't sure what board to post this on.
I'm curious to know if others and indeed if all pianists see random images or think of certain things/people when they play a piece. I get it with every piece I play, but it's nothing that's connected to the style of the piece..it's much more abstract than that. for example and this probably sounds crazy saying it out loud...the last few pieces i'I've learned and (it's always at the same part of the piece) I have had flashes into my head of random images such as - a crocodile, my sister, a girl I at my work who I have never spoken to, my friend's ex boyfriend (again..don't even know him that well) a boat on the water, a woman waiting for her husband to come back from war..and the word banana. Haha even writing it down it looks nuts! I totally get that you would associate images to do with the style of a piece..but this is just random.  the only way I can describe it is as if you were recalling your dream from the night before and images flash into your head.  I do have very vivid dreams every night too which I always remember, I wonder if it's how certain people's brains work, dunno. My husband for example never dreams and has no idea what i'm talking about when I mention my 'piano images' Does anyone else experience this. It's the randomness of the images that I find bizarre. I wonder what it is that prompts them?

Yes, this happens to me all the time. Dreams are important to me too, and I have kept diaries of them at various times. Waking visions while playing or listening to music are perfectly normal occurrences for me. As with you, their actual data bears little cognitive connection to anything in particular. Most often, while listening to recordings of my own improvisation or to music of others, I suddenly seem to be in very detailed places with people I do not know. These experiences have become very much a part of my musical psyche. I used to think everybody did this, but over the years, through posting on forums and talking to people, I have come to realise that I lie in a fairly small minority.

Indeed, the propensity has become so pleasurably vital a part of my musical universe that, were I to find myself lacking it, I doubt I should bother creating music at all.
"We're all bums when the wagon comes." - Waller

Offline dcstudio

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Re: Seeing images when you play
«Reply #3 on: February 18, 2017, 10:03:23 AM »
When I have the motivation to practice, and I spend 10 or 12 hours at the piano I will hallucinate all kinds of stuff.  Once during a long practice session I swore I saw Beethoven standing over me....lol.  actually when performing or even running through stuff my mind doesn't "think" the same way it does when I am not playing.  I am focused on the tips of my fingers...or I am completely detached and thinking about all the laundry at home.


Offline rmbarbosa

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Re: Seeing images when you play
«Reply #4 on: February 18, 2017, 11:32:19 AM »
to Liszt, for example, the Sonata quasi una fantasia (clair de lube) of Beethoven was like a flower (2. mouvement) between a dream (1) and a tempest (3).
Personally, I dont "see" anything when I perform. But I feel the music like a sort of "invasion" of myself by the music, I`m not "here" but sowhere "in the space", it`s very dificult to explain better...

Offline visitor

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Re: Seeing images when you play
«Reply #5 on: February 18, 2017, 12:42:03 PM »
Sometimes if the room is not well lit, and i get in the zone,when i really focus, i swear this is true, and my concentration gets to its highest, i see images, and i mean this, images of notes on the page. I see them better if i squint a little

Offline mishamalchik

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Re: Seeing images when you play
«Reply #6 on: February 18, 2017, 02:15:27 PM »
I don't necessarily see things, but usually when I'm performing a piece I've set a narrative around it, a story so to speak, and when I play I'm "acting" a role of this story. It can get pretty intense if I'm feeling comfortable enough to get into the zone of vulnerability, where I'm emotionally engaged with a piece. When I finish a piece I'm usually in a completely different place emotionally than when I began, and I have to be careful as music has a huge impact on my general mood and demeanor. 
     For example, I was considering Liszt's final transcendental etude, no 12 in d minor, but I was having difficulty on keeping the theme continuous so I was listening to it almost nonstop. Those days were very difficult for me, because I was dealing with some personal issues regarding the policies of der cheetofuhrer (trump), and music, which is normally my way of stress relief, was at that time rife with a sense of futility (both in the theme of the etude, and my approach to it lol), which certainly wasn't very helpful. So I turned my attention to something a bit less tragic, and worked on opus 10 no 1 instead.