art & culture


74 110MAG.COM MAY 2012





BY SENYA BORRELLI P PHOTOS BY DAVID ART WOOTEN As a singer, pianist, and music teacher, I have come to value music as a language that can communicate emotions and feelings on a deeper level than is possible with mere words. A gifted pianist, for example, is able to move listeners to tears with a commanding performance of "Somewhere In Time" or make them smile with Scott Joplin's ragtime masterpiece, "The Entertainer." I've seen it happen. Even more direct connections with the human heart can be made through the integration of words and music. A song can become more than lyrics; the singing voice more than sound. The composer who wrote "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" said, "Music makes you feel a feeling, but a song makes you feel a thought." The Effort And Magic Of Music Something seemingly magical can happen in a performance when a song catches both performer and audience in shared feelings, moods, and emotional colors. Energy is exchanged; a symbiotic-type connection is established; feelings and emotions are shared. Susan Boyle moved the whole world with the dream that she dreamed the night she threw back her head and sang at Britain's Got Talent. That kind of magic doesn't happen by accident. No matter how much natural talent musicians might possess, they unlock the potential for moving audiences by hours of practice and fervent attention to the details of music and performance. Anyone who has read of Susan Boyles' life knows how many years of effort she invested before becoming "an overnight success." Nevertheless, music and song are more than the sum of mechanics and practice. Truly memorable performances occur when musicians learn how to use music as an effective communication tool. Any truly amazing vocalist has learned to speak to the emotions and aspirations of the listeners. My own musical career involved carefully studying the art of captivating and engaging an audience. At one point during my performing years the manager of a full

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