March 10, 2012
Bach and Bell On the Metro
Posted by gerardvanderleun at March 10, 2012 9:37 AM
It takes a poet or an artist to see a beautiful sunset, sometimes. Many times we are merely Vogons smashing all those 'Scintillating-Jeweled-Scuttle-Crabs' at the local clambake.
Excellent thought of the day, Gerard.
"In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?"
Yes. That's why we come here, Gerard.
Maybe more people would use public transportation if it featured some nice classical background music, even if not played by a world-class musician.
No idea what any of those passers-by did when they got home from work or wherever they were going. How many of them engaged in something we would call beautiful. How many of them went off to the symphony or built a chair or painted something or made a gourmet dinner for their families.
So plopping a musician in the middle of a busy metro station and finding out that not many people stopped to notice is a study designed very specifically to create the results it wanted.
I appreciate beauty and I especially appreciate talent, but what I would not appreciate is listening to dirge music at 8 AM.
It tells me several things.
In public places we are in full avoidance mode to avoid making eye contact precisely with the person who is looking to make that.
A Bach solo sonata is the worst possible selection in that venue.
It was Bell, not Kreisler. It's a very tough racket, which is why Bell is taking up conducting.
Can we assume that a Metro Station is a place that is run on schedules? That first gentleman looked as though he wanted to stop and listen but, "had to get going."
That was beautiful playing (obviously) but I'm not sure that people not willing to miss their trains for work, appointments, etc., is a good indicator of their unwillingness to appreciate beautiful music.
"Smithers! Why were you late?"
"There was a man at the station playing the most beautiful violin music I have ever heard. I stopped to listen and missed my train."
"Well, thanks to your little no-show at the meeting this morning we lost the Perkins account. We needed that to stay afloat. So now you don't have to worry about missing your train anymore. We're going to file for bankruptcy and you can spend all day at the station for all I care."
“Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God,
But only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.”
― Elizabeth Barrett Browning
... As "Smithers" points out though, there's something to the blackberry thing too!
Wow! Good poem, DeAnn! So true, too.
...and in response to 'Smithers':
'Seek Enlightenment, but first do the dishes'
(* found here at Gerards 'Fountainhead' blog *)
I'm reminded of why we are forced to read literature in high school and college.
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and there is a reason classical music is classic.
Next time he should try playing something with a good beat that's easy to dance too. Bonus points if he does it by adapting a well known classical peice.