This cabbage is a piece of music,
but we can’t see its whole form.
If music was a cabbage, we would be able to see something like its shadow,
or a cross-section, like this.
If all we can see is the shadow, how can we reverse-engineer the whole cabbage? First, crumple up paper into a ball.
Then, wrap tape around it. A white cabbage!
Cut it in half.
And paint it. If we stamp it it on a piece of paper, how closely will it resemble that of the real cabbage?
Pretty close! But not quite right, either. For example, the geometry of the cabbage’s leaves is not represented. In the same way, the form of music is difficult to fully comprehend due to the constraints of our experience of time. In the following video demonstration, I will cut a piece of paper in an attempt to reveal to you the form of “Monodie”, a piece for organ by Olivier Messiaen. Because the music exists in a higher dimension with non-linear time, in this performance you will not experience the real piece; instead, you will see a warped 3D shadow-form and hear the warped shadow-sound.
Organ sung by Maria Stankova.
Videography by David Kerr.