User's Metametaphoric Phenomena Of Architecture And Music
By Barie Fez-Barringten
This monograph further explores the more comprehensive application of the metaphor to the wider field of all the arts, and specifically architecture and music. Recalling that much has already been written about the relationships and analogies between the two this work explores neither the work nor architecture but the aspect of a metaphoric holism whereby he or she (user) completes a metaphor interacting with more value than the mere sum of elementary components. The commonalities and differences of music and architecture highlight the commonality of composer, performers, audience and users. The architect is likened to the composer and their commitment to project their experience to the user/audience through builders and performers into the work This monograph refers to the author's notes from a lecture series at Yale University: Architecture
as the Making of Metaphors involving, amongst others, Paul Weiss and William J. Gordon. Additionally this work recalls
Daniel MacGalvray's research from his article in "The proper education of musicians and architects". The discussion about the kind of effort expended to appreciate music and architecture refers to George Dodds On the place of Architectural speculation Finally, thanks to J. Akbar's
"Crisis in the built environment" we have a definition of the claims by users to clarify the user as the second of metaphor's composers. The author has completed additional books and articles about the
metametaphor applied to Leipzig; Mondrian; Saudi Arabia; education; and multidimensional metaphoric thinking.
April 22, 1993, on the evening of (first) Earth Day's twenty-third anniversary my wife and I attended a concert of The Clementi Ensemble in a pre-engineered metal building" in the Dhahran Academy in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. But my mind was not on the concert, as such, but the context and the circumstances of what we all expected to experience from these four fine musicians. We also compared this experience to when we helped John McConnel and UThant stage" in central park (that day the United Nations declared Earth Day a world legal holiday); and, the year before the Mayor of New York in Union Square. Indeed, the evening was replete with making leaps back into history to seemingly unrelated events. Even the musical program of
Schubert, Beethoven, Mozart and Dvorak conjured "barocco" visions of courtly recitals of other periods and places. We also noticed the many languages and dresses of the audience and yet we were all attending this one concert. It then occurred to me that we were all participating in a metaphoric event which had everything to do with architecture. Perhaps this event and our role as an audience and participants in this metaphor could shed light on the user's role in works of architecture. Because, that night we were both audience,
participants and users: the persons of the metaphor So much has already been written about the relationship between music and architecture. Particularly about music's design components and overall modes and meanings. But this night I realized that the audience to this concert was not unlike a building's
public occupants. We both had a relationship Context: Is a weaving together of words, connections; coherence; the interrelated conditions in which something exists.
Audience: Is a group of listeners, spectators and perceptors; reading, viewing and listening in public. Those to whom things are made audible to the originator, designer, assembler or composer of the work. Before playing each piece one of the musicians would remind us to remember the composer, his intentions about the work and his life in relation to the work. It occurred to me that I had not read anything about metaphor's relationship to architecture. Particularly about their performance. Yet it was the performance in which we all were involved. Having already been to other recitals, in addition to listening to the sound of the music one also watches the communication between players. It is as though one is watching a "musical conversation". Recitals seem to have that quality. Each plays the libretto composed to create interactions between players. But they add so much more by the movement of their body, head and eyes. Their face expresses agreement and satisfaction about the timing, quality and acoustics of what they hear and see. We are watching them make a metaphor between themselves and the composer, the audience, and all using the years of skill with their instruments. This evenings instruments were the violin, cello, viola and piano. I noticed the way in which each of the players positioned themselves on their chairs in relationship to each other, the stage and the audience. They could do little about the theatre or the metal building except ask that only during the performance the air conditioning be shut off because of its' noise. All musicians, dancers and actors have specific routines, responses and actions which as letters in a word, words in sentence, etc, string together to complete the intended metaphor Originator to User I began to sketch and plot their positions which then led me to recall how attentive we were in selecting where we'd sit to watch the performance. We also noticed others who did the same. This was one of the components of how we, the audience, must participate in completing the making of the metaphor: the one originally intended by the composer and the theater's architect. I recalled the way in which buildings and the analogies between seat selection and positioning in buildings. When we enter restaurants and snack shops we look for views, proximity to fountain features, exits, entrances, etc. When we sit in living rooms or lounges we try to find comfortable seats with views, position in space, location to perimeter, center, etc. In planning the layout of an existing apartment or house we care for locating each piece of furniture and functional item on the basis of our vistas, views, position, hierarchies and priorities. Our experience with each building type is generic with both interchangeable and unique considerations. We take responsibility for the control of what we are going to experience in any given situation depending on the length of time, importance, social standing or privacy of the situation. We may settle for one position on a subway ride but yet another in a bus with a view. One position in a concert yet another in a metal auditorium building Aside from our instincts for comfort and obvious mundane necessities we are also aware of yet another responsibility. We are completing the metaphor's intentions by the architect of the metaphor in which we find ourselves. We instinctively look to optimize our relationship to his generique birth characteristic of a whole group which serves to control the projection of characteristics, specifying the structure, accommodating a particular function, or accommodating the function of other form generators. intentions and his design parameters. We are aware that we are the final players in a scenario devised well before our arrival. We are kind of actors or performers playing out the rationale of the place. This then was the link between music and architecture relevant to contemporary orientation. Differences between music and architecture Architecture and music are apparently different from one another. One is static and the other dynamic. They are both experienced in different ways. Music is best experienced by being physically passive while architecture active. Music, as such is experienced by the ears, while architecture by the sense of vision, touch, smell and sound (acoustics). Particularly these days when we can appreciate music through electronic media; or or the
connoisseur by reading sheet music. The differences between architecture are vast: one is a while the other is an applied art. Indeed they both have a spiritual, sensual and unseen dimension but music will not shelter nor materially limit and bound space. The differences focused my attention beyond their Dance music and, background music (muzac), ballet, etc. are exceptions as are rooms where we sit, lie, stand still etc. Architecture's perceptions are in operations and perceptions in relation to operations. Connoistre: cognoscere cognition; expert; one who understands the details, technique or principles of music, architecture, painting, etc. and is competent to act as a critical judge.
One who enjoys with discrimination and appreciation of subtleties for our metaphors we are each the cognoscere Paul Weiss says in his book " Nine basic arts" that music and architecture both limit and bound space. (but not materially: different technique, limiting and bounding) aesthics and analogous artistic dimensions to the way they are completed metaphor we can better understand the commonalities and differences between origination, making and experience. All the sizes, heights, clearances and dimensions of rooms and corridors are contingent upon people and the quantity of people a facility must accommodate. The Metaphor of music and architecture Metaphor is a literary term which means "carrying-over"; it associates meanings, emotions, things, times and places which otherwise would not have been related. Metametaphorically times and places (or any essence thereof) known to have a preferential, specific or localized use in one context are explicitly employed in another. One familiar and one strange term are usually composed into a single form where one term normally used in one context is brought over into another with the object of illuminating; making more evident something in the second domain which otherwise remains obscure. The best of metaphors allow us to express two truths at the same time about two times, the past and future; the past can illuminate the future or the future the past. They are interactive. Both ideas converge on the idea of some activity, vision, or idea. The metaphor points beyond each of its members to the reality then diversity express, articulating a power common to both, telling us that both have an intrinsic nature. Complete bring into a perfect stage; execute fully; having all the necessary parts. Weiss, P., The metaphorical process "(Main currents in modern thought, Sept Oct. 1971): More comprehensive; transcending; change or transformation used with the metaphor to designate its new but related function so as to deal critically with the original concept of the metaphor.
Function performance: quality that depends on and varies with another: as elements of a metaphor Music and architecture are experienced in the same way. They are both composed through the experience of another person and in his context. The strange context and other person's experience are encapsulated in a composition, design, assemblage, or some other work of applied art for us to experience in our context in the future. That future is the present where we, in our context, experience the original composition. The two times, past and future contexts: the composers and ours converge on the work. We perceive the work in the present stimulated by signals These signals in music are in the form of volume, sincopations, creshendos, tones, notes etc. In architecture it is materials, structures, textures, light, shadow etc. Both music and architecture can create scale, harmony, space, tension, compression, vision, illusions, etc. Music and architecture both are joined together by metaphoric works. We compare them with our place, time and context. We see commonalities and differences: it is a metaphoric experience. This explains why concert hall architects try to create the kind of visual and
acoustical context compatible to the function of the performers and the audience. In doing so he recreates the vision of the composer and a context common to both composer, performer and audience.
Signal: sign, an act, event, or sound that has been agreed on as the
occasion of concerted action. Something that incites to action. A meaningful
linguistic, musical or architectural form is distinctive and conspicuous.
Music and architecture's commonality: Paul Weiss in "Nine Basic Arts" classifies music with architecture as arts that enclose a created dimension. That dimension may be space, time or becoming. "Just as the composer must be familiar with conducting and performing, the designer must know the skill's of the builder and the craftsperson". Creative composers, skilled conductors, and talented performers are joined by their original study of a theoretical and historical common body of musical knowledge that binds them together as musicians. There is the shared universally accepted musical language. "The work of musicians long dead" is familiar and immediately accessible, not only to musicians, but through musicians to the general public as well". Even the audience most of whom may lack a formal music education bring to the concert a certain familiarity with at least an interest in music . They read the metaphor through the familiar signals learned in other contexts. Musicians, after all, move and breathe and their instruments imitate nature. It is in the harmony of these sounds in some system that musicians and audience appreciate the scale, dimension and visions of the composition. Both architect and composer begin with a concept, an idea of creative act, which may then be written down using an accepted notation system. But where is the or the audience in this metaphor . To find him or her we must explore the metaphor which links the two arts. Why are they both an art and how are they significant and
relevant to our experience as natural human beings? The literary metaphor speaks MacGilvray, D.F., " The proper education of musicians and architects (JAE, Nov. 92). about one thing in terms of another and makes the strange familiar. As it does it identifies our position in society and is the emblem of who we are. We are not the metaphor but our experience of it is as real as anything else we know. As we perceive it is our virtual reality. It contains our identity, signs and signals. Its' vocabulary, symbols and characters are symbiotic. The metaphor itself is symbiotic and our relationship to the metaphor is symbiosis. The metaphor is a vehicle change. It transforms and it is a transformer . It works internally between its' elements and upon us as we complete metaphor . It is completion that users and audience participate in the ultimate creation of any metaphor Like music, architecture issues from the past a past which is multifaceted. There is first the past of the composer, the metaphor maker, the architect of the metaphor, his or her background, training, experience and knowledge. There is also the whole history of music and architecture. For the musician as well as the architect both are brought up in the world of their art. Art is a skill acquired by experience, study and observation. It is a conscious use of that skill along with creative imagination in the production of the work. The metaphor is not only an idea but a composed and created idea over a period of time and experiences.
Emblem Architecture, music, art symbolizing and suggesting another art or idea. An identifying mark.
Symbolic. Virtual: It is possessed of certain physical virtues. As a metaphor it is such in essence or effect though not formally recognized.
Symbiotic: symbiosis state of living together: intimate association or close union of two dissimilar organisms.
Mutualism to each others mutual benefit. Weiss, P.," The metaphorical process architecture , musicians and an audience to a performance share common operations. They participate in a mimesis which reveals original. Meaning is established in both simulacrum and lack of resemblance. Both the strange and the familiar can be read. Users, musicians and audiences do not imitate the composer's specific action but rather his creative process. The musicians as well as building's users utilize techniques which enable this recreative process. Musicians more so than users or audiences. But all share their faithfulness to the original composer. It is only the musician who has committed himself to techne" recreation in a consequent, responsible and accountable effort. He enters into a discipline of special signals, skill and craft. He can be more likened to architect's craftsmen and artisans who build from the architect's plans. Both builders and musicians perform according to techniques and systems and in concert halls which transcend any one composer, place or country. It is the composer and architect who write for extant artisans who must use their known instruments, notes and language of music to reproduce the musical thought. The audience and users of the work of architecture both benefit from the performance of the artisans. The finished building like the musical recording becomes the vehicle through which the metaphor is experienced. It is one of the common links between the composer and the audience. It is as a constant in the vision of the composer as his sheet music, the instruments and the musicians. It is not the live performance of the builders in process which users of architecture Dodds, G., "On the place of Architectural speculation" (Journal of Architectural Education, Nov. 92) "Techno" comb form; Greek: art: craft ; technique. A method of accomplishing a desired aim. enjoy but the architect's planted and endued signals.
On the other hand the audience of music does enjoy the humanity of the way in which a musical metaphor is performed
while the users of architecture do however enjoy the quality of tactile craftsmanship, faithfulness and fidelity to the architect's intentions. He or she perceives it not while it is being produced but after it is completed Architecture as frozen music Goethe referred to architecture as " petrified music ". Both concepts refer to the difference between the perceptions of the craft. With musical rendition it is neither frozen nor petrified but dynamic and flowing. Users complete the Metaphor Completion of a metaphor implies that a metaphoric conception is complex and a system which includes all the dimensions in which it exists. This includes the of everything that satisfies the metaphor context, place, conditions, composer, vehicles, instruments, techniques, medias, frames, settings, scenarios, performers, audiences, perceptors, users, operators, makers, assemblers, artisans, craftsmen, etc. Any one or another kind of a metaphor ultimately is an admixture of a number of constants and variables that finally completes the metaphor. Every metaphor is never all together totally complete MacGilvray, D.F., "The proper education of musicians and architects (JAE, Nov, 1992) It can function and communicate but it will be different from one to another stage as its' dimensions are added. Such is the experience of musical works which are performed before different persons located in various places in a concert hall; audiences of different contexts and times and by musicians with the same type but different instruments. The composition and design for music and architecture may be constant but are only part of the conception. It is the user who will ultimately perceive and reexperience the personalized ideas of the composer. Metaphors like music are composed, assembled, and conjured . Reified and created by technique from experiences with the elements of the metaphor The composer has experienced the metamorphosis of the elements. He has "seen" the commonalities, the differences and the essence common to both. In any case the building's is a variable in the experience of the metaphor and depending on his choices, decisions, faith, discipline, conditioning, skill, commitment and language skills will he participate. But he is part of the metaphor.