The Disposition of the Musician - Gerrit Onne van de Klashorst


The Disposition of the Musician
The Disposition of the Musician
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G.O. came warmly recommended to our academy the Folkwang-Hochschule in Essen. Many students were suffering from Leibdialektik - to be Leib on one hand and to have a Korper on the other (H. Plessner). Both words in German are translated in English as body. There exists no distinction between these two aspects. The musicians regard their body as an instrument and in believing so they were convinced that both body and instrument should be kept under control. If necessary far beyond the barrier of pain. Both aspects of the expression Korper were involved, there was the supposedly bodiless I, which would constantly be in permanent conflict with the musicians alter ego as an instrument. This conflict caused a tensed or permanent loosed posture and the feeling of not being able to extract the maximum use of oneself. Common results were problems with the wrist, vertebra, bursitis and tendovaginitis. Medical treatment was unable to find the cause of these ailments. My colleague Professor Zita Wyss brought the tidings of G.O. van de Klashorst to our academy in Essen. She was acquainted with his work and talked convincingly about his method of achieving artistic expression. I myself held seminars with the topic of body consciousness and the theory of senses and recognised the connection. In the seminars the students learned about the potential handicaps of their musical practise. I was, therefore, interested in meeting Van de Klashorst. Soon 'G.O.' became a guest lecturer at the Academy in Essen. By presenting his method in theory and practice he introduced us to his special way of helping the young musicians dispose themselves of stereotyped postures. G.O.'s aim was to have one's awareness and movement at one's disposal in a way that imagination and performance correspond. Meanwhile many contacts between Essen and Wageningen have been established. Van de Klashorst and his clientele have contributed considerably to more attention being focussed on body consciousness a the Folkwang-Hochschule. There was a workshop on the topic of dispokinesis planned, but because of reasons beyond one's control this course was not installed. At his own institute Van de Klashorst has trained a remarkable number of musicians, graduates of dispokinetology and its practice. In this way the harvest of his experience bas been transmitted. This transmission has now been completed with the publication of this book. I wish to congratulate and thank its author and express my joy. Taking the risk of writing in the English language is typical of 'G.O.'. I recommend all the readers, even the native speakers, not to spy out linguistic howlers but to take the opportunity of genuine insight into dispokinesis -- Prof. Dr. Joseph Felsches -- I have always envied athletes: they go to tournaments accompanied by masseurs and physiotherapists. They are allowed to get injured this is practically part of their job description. On the other hand, society does not expect musicians, who also do highly complex physical work (even if on a different level of stress), to get injured. Physical ailments are therefore kept secret. Heaven forbid that the agent or the promoter, and above all the audience, should find out that something is incorrect, something hurts... This strategy of concealment may also be because of the fact, that it is very difficult to help a stranded performing artist. The usual methods of the sport physician or masseur often go only some way to help. And in the long term might not be able to address the essential problem. This book now offers a comprehensive view of the problems involved. The fantastic thing is that dispokinesis is also able to offer solutions to these problems. I'm sure that every performing artist has known the following phenomena at least since conservatory: there are passages 'that don't work', you have practically finished studying and learning the piece, you are sure that everything will be fine in principle, and yet there are these damned passages! The worst thing is: the more yo try to improve them the worse they get. But there is the other phenomenon: at home you play like a young god or at least like a young Horowitz, but on stage you get stiff, some things don't work at all, others sound inhibited and forced. And the misery par excellence: those pains in your back, your tired arms, the stabbing pain in your elbow and at same point the thought of ever having to play again causes pain... The message of dispokinesis is that this is not necessary; things can be more simple! You must have some talent, of course, and there will be only one Horowitz in a century. But what dispokinesis can achieve is to liberate you from this quagmire of impotence accompanying these unfortunate phenomena. You learn how to turn your personal needs of expression into sound through your own natural movements. Other, often quite sensible methods of treatment cannot trigger this kind of process because they lack the aspect of artistic expression. However, this liberation may well be difficult to achieve, sometimes you have to replace an old, automatic pattern of movement by a new one, which is not at all easy to do. Yo may have expelled the old pattern, but the new one is not yet securely 'installed' so you sit there not knowing how to play two notes in a row... But there is no way around it. The alternative would be to give up your artistic goals sooner or late or, at best, to put them on the back burner. The theory of dispokinesis could only have been developed and formed by a person like G.O. van de Klashorst. His is the happy conjunction (in part because of unhappy circumstances) of a personality which makes possible a keen and loving insight into man as a whole coupled with a comprehensive knowledge of the kinetological, psychological and physiological processes of the body. Perhaps the most important and very individual trait is Van de Klashorst's profound understanding of music, which can arrange all these separate elements to an illustration which contains the key to well-being with and by music. I am deeply grateful to Van de Klashorst for his humanistic achievement in the truest sense of the word. I believe it to be highly important that this book, which offers the substrate of his very special experience of life is now published. -- Yaara Tal, pianist --









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