Memories of Space Over Sound

Why is it that I cannot just admire the beauty of the chapel where a concert is being held? Can that not be where one directs her attention in the midst of a performance? It can and sometimes is, the music only underscoring a space’s structural elegance. Is that wrong?

Well, when we agree to attend a musical event, we are establishing a hierarchy of experiences. Primary focus is put on the music and performer(s). What disrespect, then, if one were to go up to a musician and remark how nice it was to come and admire the architecture. Would it be such an indignation?

Said person might not have had any other opportunity to come to this place. The coincidence of music and space necessitates a journey. Is that not one of the benefits? A trip to a city could be extraneous without the incentive of a performance. Thus music grants one the chance to travel, an urge that sometimes outweighs the music one will hear.

Certain memories of concerts do have a more vivid sense of space than sound. Where I have sat or stood at some concerts especially remains. It is the music, however, that seems to fade more than my memory of spatial relations.

Short and longterm memory have a lot to do with making the unfamiliar familiar, the familiar unfamiliar, and every shade in between. I wonder if that has something to do with when space rules over sound in our memory. It is worth going more in depth. 

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