By now hopefully you've all seen the Expression crew performing their piece titled "Marionette". I found out about it through brother Steve. Thanks, Steve! Watching the clip takes me back to the days when I was working very closely with choreographers. For those of you who wonder what the attractions of working with choregraphers are, I'll tell you.

One of the fundamental philosophies I am fascinated by in the realm of art is the notion of harmony (sorry to get all philo on ya, but I dunno how else to begin ^^;). In fact, I'm not quite convinced that the English word quite captures what I'm trying to convey. To get a more accurate depiction, you really want to use these two Chinese characters: 融, to become, to connect, and 和, to become, to add up, to answer. Of course, the nuiance of the two characters coming together to form a word isn't exactly the sum of the meanings of the two words, but please bear with me. At minimum, when everything is in harmony, nothing is wasted, nothing is overly done, everything is simply... in harmony. In the definition I'm after, it doesn't even imply any upper bound or limit which the sum of the parts need to add up to. Although there's nothing stopping it from being put in place.

So where am I going with this whole harmony crap? Well.. when one is working with sound alone, the domain is constrained by two dimensions at the second highest level: time and sound (or lack thereof). That is assuming that the highest level is the concept of the entire composition made up of sound. Once you drill in deeper into the two sub components you have more dimensions to work with, of course. At any given level, an artist may wish to achieve harmony, and this is where the English word breaks what I'm trying to convey. The combination may not in fact seem harmonious in the traditional sense of the word. The resulting sound, for example, may be considered utter cacophony. Yet, that may be exactly the form it needs to take to establish the harmony of the whole. This form of auditory expression has its own set of attractions which I won't go into here. Now, when you expand the system to include visuals such as choreography, you get more dimensions to work with. But this, from a high-level perspective, is a very different beast you're dealing with. You can't simply take music produced for its own sake, choreography produced for its own sake, put it together, expecting it to become twice the masterpiece. It just doesn't work that way. In the visual domain alone there's harmony to be achieved, but what's really interesting is when you have the two macro domains come together as the two dimensions of a larger system. It is the act of achieving harmony at that level that is attractive to me.

I have a feeling I'm making this sound rather technical, but it really isn't... It's just to do with funneling the emotions between and among the various sensory channels, and then making these output mix together in the most "beautiful" way. Notice that I'm not using the English word "harmony" in this case because I don't want to taint the concept I'm trying to convey with unnecessary baggage like striking a balance or what not. If I could take "harmony", "fusion", "connection", "reaction", "counter-action", "feedback", "emphasis" and roll it as a single word, I may get a better picture in your head... or make a simple concept sound even more complicated... -.-;

As usual I've done a horrible job of explaining... The gist of what I'm trying to say is that the process of achieving this state of harmony is enormously fun!! What's even more satisfying is to see it become performed to perfection by highly skilled performers. I get goose bumps just thinking about that possibility... *SHUDDER*

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