Pianistic Traditioning

Past and Future

Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Edmund Husserl emphasize that tradition is just as much about the future as the past, as in the quotations in Part I: Projection. ‘The French word for repetition is reprise, and for projection projet, and tradition exists where the project is based on repetition, and where the repetition leads to a projection’, Mikkel Tin writes, pointing to the ideas of Merleau-Ponty (Tin, 2011, p. 18, my translation): 


The ‘taking up’, Aufnahme, that Gadamer writes about, and that he also views as co-creation, is equivalent to the ‘reprise’ and ‘taking up again’ that we met in Merleau-Ponty, also crucial in taking the past with us into present and future: ‘... what we have acquired, is first really acquired if it is taken up in a new movement of thought’ [Merleau-Ponty, 1945, p. 151, my translation]. ... The word ‘delivery’ is the literal translation of tradition. That makes tradition, in this relation, the meeting point between Husserl, Merleau-Ponty and Gadamer. And we have seen that to all of them, it is crucial to point out that tradition is not given, and at every time it is up to us to take it up and carry it forward (Tin, 2011, p. 213-214).


Tradition and innovation are not dichotomies. Creating anew is an essential part of traditioning. 

We may draw lines between the two verbs Interpreting and TraditioningInterpreting involves traditioning, as the interpreter speaks together with the old in the performance and brings in something new by her own individual voice and emphasis. Traditioning involves interpreting, because the performer’s task is to understand, embody and perform the material. The performers of art music - the interpreters - and the performers of folk music - the traditioners - can because of this find enrichment by looking at each others’ frameworks and attitudes. 

To me, folk musical attitudes and methods have fed processes of interpretation, as in Solspill: Outline og Villarkorn: As if it Were Folk Music. Art musical methods and experiments, like the detaching of elements in Abstraction in Folk Art: Juxtapositions, and the reductions and transfers in Avstandsriss: Multivoicedness were part of leading me to ways of traditioning on the piano in Slåttepiano: Folk Music on the Piano