March 10, 2012

Bach and Bell On the Metro

joshbellonsubway.jpg

Posted by gerardvanderleun at March 10, 2012 9:37 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

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.

Posted by: cond0010 at March 10, 2012 10:06 AM

"In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?"

Yes. That's why we come here, Gerard.

.

Posted by: Joan of Argghh at March 10, 2012 10:31 AM

Fascinating.

Maybe more people would use public transportation if it featured some nice classical background music, even if not played by a world-class musician.

Posted by: rickl at March 10, 2012 10:47 AM

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.

Posted by: Andy at March 10, 2012 12:09 PM

I appreciate beauty and I especially appreciate talent, but what I would not appreciate is listening to dirge music at 8 AM.

Posted by: Sara (Pal2Pal) at March 10, 2012 12:26 PM

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.

Posted by: james wilson at March 10, 2012 3:13 PM

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.

Posted by: mare at March 10, 2012 5:54 PM

"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."

Posted by: at March 10, 2012 6:55 PM

“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!

Posted by: DeAnn at March 10, 2012 7:56 PM

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 *)

Posted by: Cond0010 at March 11, 2012 7:19 AM

Gene Weingarten's article is how this came about, and it's good writing too.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/04/AR2007040401721.html

Posted by: Chap at March 11, 2012 7:27 AM

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.

Posted by: Daniel at March 12, 2012 4:25 AM
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