A funny postscript

Today I heard from Daniel Cockburn, the fellow who produced the music for my thesis video.
I had asked him to record segments of the Goldberg Variations, in a sort of mash-up style, and to make mistakes and then repeat those passages until they were right. Daniel is an extremely talented musician (I have memories of him in high school switching between instruments in a single performance with ease and grace – piano, trumpet, percussion, etc.) and the piece he produced for the purposes of my video was perfect (intentional errors are not flaws!)

I had ordered the sheet music of the Goldbergs online and had them shipped to him. He went to a friend’s house to use his piano to make the recording, and took the unopened package of sheet music to the friend’s house. Daniel opened the package and discovered that it did not contain the Goldbergs, but contained Mendelssohn’s “Songs Without Words”. Fortunately Daniel’s friend had sheet music of the Goldbergs handy, the recording was made, and this story therefore has a happy ending.

The part that is funny is in the music that was sent in place of the Goldbergs. “Songs Without Words”. Since my thesis dealt extensively with language and the action of speech, I find a certain irony in the title of the piece that was sent instead of the Goldbergs. It’s the sort of strangely resonant accident that distantly echoes the unintentional metaphors the voice recognition software on my computer created in my thesis performance.

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