Imagery and music: What Perlman and De Silva can invoke

Written by Syed Ali

This week, at the Krannert Center of the Performing Arts, world renowned musicians Itzhak Perlman and Rohan De Silva played various pieces in a violin-piano duo. Their music invoked various emotions and vivid imagery as they moved the entire audience.

All of Perlman’s pieces felt smooth, fast and extremely skillful. At times, his violin would synchronize with De Silva’s piano playing, creating a satisfying yet exciting combination of music. At others, the violin and piano would play similarly, but slight differences would overlap – creating a beautiful contrast in tones. When the two would match, I visualized fall and the campus in general. I could see the colors burgundy and red along with feeling mellow sadness and excitement. With veteran’s day coming the day after, I thought of the past and how struggle can be overcome.

One particular piece Perlman played, which was in the film Schindler’s List, particularly felt overwhelming and powerful. I saw desolation yet strength in music form. I could see movement and my past. As the music went on, the speed of the violin constantly shifted from swift to slow/methodical. Small “jumps” and quirks he created with the violin created strong vibrations. The music mostly visualized the places I’ve been; near the end, I imagined places I’ve wanted to go.

Overall, the masterful play of the violin and piano made for a very moving experience. I’ve always felt music more emotionally rather than visually, but Perlman and De Silva played pieces that transformed feelings to images. I felt goosebumps during and after every piece.

Photos by Syed Ali

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