Vivid and Continuous

Writer John Gardner describes good fiction as being a dream that the author takes us into. For it to be a potent dream, it needs to be both vivid and continuous:

vivid because if we are not quite clear about what it is we’re dreaming, […] our emotions and judgements must be confused, dissipated, or blocked; and continuous because a repeatedly interrupted flow of action must necessarily have less force than an action directly carried through from its beginning to its conclusion”

Doesn’t a great musical performance operate in the same manner? It needs to be vivid, full of color and local inflections, while being continuous, having a sense of direction and purpose within the larger musical structure.

When the two balance the music holds us within its rapture, just like a dream.

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