My question to you is, do you believe there is a certain art in editing "artistically" some works such as the 24 Études or others of that caliber, and what value do you give it regardless of how close or far the original is from the final result?
This is not pianism
, and it isn't real
. Just because the original project was done by someone who can
play the piano, or on a subject of great value, in no way transmits warrant or validity to the end product. This is like so many other pretensions in society today. We know what a sound
engineer is. What you are doing is performance
engineering. Everyone knows the sound engineer is not the performing artist; a performance engineer is not a performing artist. No piano student would go to a performing engineer to learn the piano, but a performance engineering student can go to a pianist to learn musicianship -- but only of the particular works investigated! After that, the performance engineer knows nothing again. In your case you may embody both functions, but only one is a performing art, the other is a technical, artificial and pretensious application. This is artificial because it does not test against the limits of human capacity, just imagination. I continually suffer disapointment due to the difference between my imagination and my capacity and work hard
to close the gap. A performance engineer never need work hard
, just more
. Just because we love [science] fiction, doesn't mean it's real. In fact, this is what you are attempting to sell: fictional music. Imagine fictional dance or fictional sculpture or fictional painting. No one will value fictional perfroming arts, at least not artists (except by deception).
This is the heart of the matter. I agree almost entirely. I might quibble with the proposition that the end-result of midi-sculpting is not "real." Not a real performance; no question. But it is as physically real as an oil painting, but one that has not been "painted" in the usual manner. I think the "paint by numbers" analogy might be close, although not perfect. The process, means of production, is completely different. The skill involved is completely different. To call the result a "painting", one might even say, is misleading. But the end-result can, arguably, be indistinguishable from a professionallly pianted oil.
Therein lies one of th problems of talking about midi-editing. And you certainly do draw attention to it above. Midi editors talk in the language of music, using words like "performance." That kind of talk is hopelessly inaccurate; it is also deceptive and misleading, not because the product isn't potentially identical to a recorded performance (a midi device hooked up to a piano can do that), but because the process (like the paint by numbers painting} is totally different.
Perhaps there can be an "art" of painting by numbers and, consequently, the evolution of a "technique" specific to it; a language of criticism and evaluation unique to it; but its transparent that the language, even if it adopted the same words as the language of art criticism, would refer to completely and totally different techniques and cognitive processes.
There is, as well, an interesting half-way house between midi and true piano performance: imagine a very precise midi-player mechnism attached to a good Bos or Steinway D or Steingraeber, sitting in the best recording studio in the world. (A distasteful thought for many who may already realize where I'm going with this). Pollini enters the studio. Performs the entire set of Etudes (opus 10 and 48), which performance is completely recorded in midi. It is replayed to him in the studio, exactly as he played it on the instrument, and AT or BY that instrument as well, because remember... the instrument is hooked up to a midi player. Then Pollini says, hmmmm. I want to change this or that about his performance. The midi editor examines the midi record of Pollini's performance and fixes, say, one wrong note. Or speeds up an entire Etude. Pollini listens to the result, again played live in front of him on the Bos or the Steinway through the dead on accurate midi player. And says: "I like that." The mics are turned on. The result recorded.
This scenario puts the test to folks like me who want to draw a bright line between midi-editing and true pianism. I think there's an easy answer to this sort of challenge, but I'm not going to say what it is. Is it midi or real? Is it aesthetically less "valuable", for want of a better term. Is it qualitatively different from what, I'm told, sound engineers do to classical music?