Why “deforming?”

copy9The blog’s name comes from the phrase “the deforming prism of our language,” a metaphor that Olivier Messiaen uses in his The Technique of my Musical Language to discuss the act of music composition. At first, a prism appears to throw a ray of light into confusion – “deforming” it – but by obscuring the clarity of the light, the prism actually reveals a hidden truth: light contains colors normally invisible to the eye. The role of the artist in society is like this. By interpreting the ordinary in extraordinary ways, artists call attention to the truths of existence and make visible that which is unseen.

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