“He gave an imitation of how we wriggle and scratch after a movement stops — the devil always finds something for us — but we must remain quite still after a movement till one more note gives the signal to move. ‘This will make a big impression on your audience—and on you if you watch some day’.
‘I tell once for ever about beginning of the music of Georgi Ivanovitch. In 1917 M. and Mme Ouspensky and others did movements, but 1918 was the beginning of music. Georgi Ivanovitch lay on a sofa at Essen- tuki with a guitar — but he did not strike it the ordinary way - and gave the melodies. There was a violin, he told me, ‘In two days you must play it’, so I had to: and ‘a plate for putting glasses on’ as a drum.
Then in Tiflis we had a piano. Georgi Ivanovitch could do the impossible. In the midst of revolution he was working intensively on each one of us, our inner psychic states. It was a terrible piano. He said: ‘Any idiot can play on a good piano’, so I had to play on it. (See p 86).
When he wanted to make me angry, he gave the melodies each time a little different; he was training me. With these melodies there is only one right way to harmonize them, you have to ‘catch’ what they need. It is not ‘my music’, it is his. I have only picked up the Master’s handkerchief. Mme Salzmann remembers that time.
All the movements have their own scales. No. 19 is the five tone scale of Bali. The Chinese and Tibetan scale is different. Some have to be like “Little Bells’’ that hang in the temples.
The music and movements are one, they are like the body and soul in man, the rhythm is what joins them. You do not move in jerks on hearing the sound, like electric bells or lamps flicking up, but feel it beforehand. It is like a circle going round all the time, but as it passes a tangent touching a certain point, the actual movement comes” He drew a big circle in the air with his right arm, brushing the left hand each time it passed.
“Those who had the great happiness to live with Georgi Ivanovitch know that something was given them, more than they deserved. He was trying to hammer a soul into man, something that could survive. Perhaps he is present here in reality.”
Mr. de Hartmann’s talk at Colet Gardens on 9th March 1950.