The Oppositional Principle in Music, Part 2: Coro de Iddanoa Monteleone

Bodily coordination comes in many forms, one of which I believe is particularly rewarding for musicians. It consists in suffusing your body with latent mobility—that is, the capacity to move in a thousand different ways, held permanently in reserve—but without actually moving much beyond the minimal movements you need in instrumental and vocal technique.

Depending on how you do it, holding your body still may have the effect of condensing and multiplying the energies of music itself. Your rhythmic drive and the richness of your sounds will actually be bigger if you don’t move a lot.

Imagine a canister full of gas. If you heat the canister, the gas inside will expand and push against the canister’s inner walls with ever-increasing power. Canned and heated gas, in other words, has more power than gas that isn’t canned or heated. Let’s call this compressed energy. The compressed energy of the expanding gas can be put to a constructive use, for instance to propel a rocket.

A few weeks ago I offered Louis Armstrong as an example of condensed energy when he plays the trumpet, though not when he sings. Here I offer you the Sardinian folk group Coro de Iddanoa Monteleone. The conductor moves a bit, the singers move almost not at all… and music itself moves with unstoppable power!