Paul Creston and The Art of Faking
Why does PAUL CRESTON'S MUSIC sound better when it is "Faked"?
1.) It exposes his structures, both harmonically and rhythmically, by scanning the notes.
2.) By "Playing the Structure" we get the notes in a more profound way. The accents allow us the energy needed, much like the planting of "Rhizomes".
3.) It allows us to add our own structure, both compositionally and psychologically, thus creating a counterpoint between his structures and ours. Counterpoint is Creston's "Less visible" dimension. We can make it inevitable. Paul Creston's five-structure system can be found at length in his book, Principles of Rhythm---Colombo, New York.
As a former student of Paul Creston, I am able to discern, through his music, what a proper or, better still, workable solution to the aid of performance entails. It may come as a surprise, but Maestro Creston was no perfectionist. It only seems that way. His music is rigidly notated using a five-structure system of his own invention. But, to perform it in an enlightened manner where it "takes off' on its own, it almost requires a jazz? like execution. I say "almost", because to totally "Jazz it up" would kill it. To "play it straight" would kill it even more. The "reality" in-between is what we're looking for. How do we arrive at that?
1. We should adhere to the accents and the rhythmic structure in the strictest possible sense.
2. We should create phrase groupings out of the rhythms.
3. We should regard the bar line as an ordering device only.
4. A Creston piece should never feel "locked in". It should "bleed somewhat".