Thursday, 20 February 2020

Change the nuance of your idea

"The central idea behind the piece is having the same musical idea presented in slightly different ways by the two instruments, hence the changing nuance of the materials..."

Daniel Kessner

This quotation is taken from Daniel Kessner's programme note for a piece called "Nuance", a duet he wrote for bass flute and viola. 

Presenting or changing ideas in slightly different ways can achieve two closely associated things: it can help us perceive ideas in different ways, and it can help us improve ideas in surprising ways.

If you have edited photographs using Instagram filters or similar, you will have experienced the above at first hand: as you apply each filter to the photograph, some aspects are emphasised or enhanced and new aspects are revealed. Then, after you have selected a filter and begun editing the photograph's colour, brightness and contrast, etc., you discover that the slightest movement of your finger can bring forth additional and sometimes surprising nuances of shade, light and emphasis, some of which transform an average photograph into a good one and a good photograph into a great one.

Find slightly different ways to present or change your idea: change one or two of the words and phrases you use to describe it; slightly strengthen or soften the emphasise you give to different aspects of it; listen to it being presented by someone else, at one remove; add one or two small aspects to it, or take one or two away; slightly change the context within which it is framed.
What does changing the nuance of your idea reveal? How can what has been revealed help you enhance your idea?

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