Caroline Wright, MSci PhD MMus LTCL
As a classically-trained amateur pianist, I have always found playing from memory comes very naturally to me. I recently played the entire programmes for both my Associate and Licentiate Diplomas in piano performance from memory. I also reached the semi-finals of the Yamaha-Chethams-Pianist magazine amateur piano competition in 2012, where I had to battle the serious stage fright that threatens to overwhelm any performer who dares to perform in public from memory! These experiences led me to question how I memorise music, why others don’t, and just how far I could trust that memory. As a composer, I also rely heavily on musical memory to provide the musical architecture upon which to create new ideas.
In addition to being a passionate about music, I am also a biological scientist by profession and occasionally blog about genetics. My scientific training has equipped me with an enquiring mind, a healthy scepticism and an ability to digest academic papers. Coupled with a desire to write, I decided to combine my interests into this blogging project. I’ll be conducting interviews with musicians, reviewing books and papers, as well as drawing on my own experience to explore and communicate how and why musicians choose to memorise music.
Of course, I can’t hope to do justice to this topic without some help! So I would be delighted to hear from anyone who is interested in contributing to this project – perhaps by being interviewed, or pointing me towards an important book or paper I should read and review. Please do get in touch…