In the September issue of the scientific journal Cell, a paper was published that summarised a study of the effects of narrative on physiology. To put it simply, the study involved telling stories to different persons, at different times and in different places, and measuring the vital functions of these persons in correlation with the storyline. The impact is proving to be real and measurable. In particular, heart rate was measured, as a function traditionally attributed to the autonomic nervous system (not subject to will). It was found that heart rate changes in the subjects showed a very high degree of similarity. Conclusions can vary. for example, it can be treated as another small break in the still basically valid paradigm about the complete separation of body from the so-called “soul”. It may also be an argument or a contribution to the discussion on the meaning of myths and fairy tales (also religious ones...) - in favour of a position that notices something more in these stories than just a manifestation of an infantile need to explain the world of our silly ancestors, who did not yet know science. For me personally, it is also a confirmation of my intuition about a certain vision or way of understanding music, which I sense and try to carry out.
Baczyński’s orchestration is moving forward, though more slowly than I had anticipated. Metrorhythmics proves to be the main challenge. The version with piano is devoid of metre - I didn’t need it for anything, quite the opposite; the pianist can follow the voice smoothly, and vice versa when needed. It is more challenging when it comes to an orchestra, because the translation of the pianist’s will into the moves of the fingers is not strictly analogous to the translation of the conductor’s will into several dozen musicians. But I have a certain amount of experience and tools here, so I’m using them. Spojrzenie [Look] is almost ready.
My plans for 2022 are shaping up. Very much in line with all the talk about narratives and fairy tales. In two chapters, I think.
(trans. Magdalena Małek-Andrzejowska)