Flow & Force!Watching Thelonius Monk play piano is quite disconcerting. In seeking a parallel with classical western music, it is Wagnerian, disturbing and there appears to be structured violence, but violence when structured is no more violence, it is FORCE. It is violence with a clear ear for subjugating itself to a command. The command is not external, but an internal machinery which subjugates the skill to the will of the command.
A Force is under control when so structured, yet also terribly forceful when unloosened. That’s what I see in Thelonius’ style.
His style is not very dissimilar to Vincent Van Gogh’s twirling forceful expressions on the canvas brilliantly hued in blues and yellows, yet not esoterically themed to satisfy the cerebral itch of the cognoscenti, but there to shock them with a day to day theme, exuding a vibrant emotion. The cut onion pieces of Vincent bring more tears than a tragic moment expressed in Renaissance reality.
It isn’t the skill, but the IMPACT, an impact on the BEING, not on an escapist mind seeking greener imaginative pastures to slake a wool gathering fancy!
That is the FORCE, violence structured to a disciplined command, not a fanciful Jackson Pollock, let loose on a canvas – a piece of art which needs a certain amount of the colourful history of the artist or the history of the event portrayed to sustain itself and be called Art! Vincent’s common life has made more art fans to go looking for the history of those common life situations! That was Force, visible in the tones and the violent brush strokes exuding life out of the inanimate!
It takes time to appreciate Vincent or Thelonius, as the pattern is not in the surface, but in the underlying COMMAND STRUCTURE!
The aural or visual impact is not different, it reveals itself to a mind, ready to listen or see, with awareness!