Myles Bennett, ‘In the Manner of Hanon’, 2012, VICTORI+MO CONTEMPORARY

"In the summer of 2011, I came to learn of Hanon - a 19th century composer who developed a set of 60 exercises entitled the ‘The Virtuoso Pianist.’ His idea was to create a daily practice so deeply rooted in repetition and discipline that once mastered, each finger would be as independent and dexterous as the other, and the hand would be freed from the constraints of the mind. He believed that by playing these daily exercises which would ideally require an hour, one could access the true essence of a composition without being distracted by its difficulty - the mind wouldn’t be forced to belabor what the hands would inherently understand. In my meager attempts at playing these exercises, I began to find a correlation in his methodology and my own, both in the diversity of the bodies of work I explore and in the gestural processes. The constant throughout remains the raw canvas surface which guides and initiates each piece through its tactile and visual qualities. In the daily practice of becoming, I’m able to isolate moments of potential, develop them through repetition, and re-weave them into the larger scope of the project, exploring the surface with freedom of hand so the mind can wander to potential interpolations and future mutations." - Myles Bennett