Friday, February 16, 2007

Valentine to Music

I got a really sweet note today from my pal Jawbone. It had some true meditative delicacies and I wanted to share a bit here because I had an extraordinary evening getting outside the bluegrass box.

Jawbone shared:

Even the dull mind travels far on the wings of music.

Instantly the mind, inspired and set free by music, travels all over this round Earth, surveying with sympathy it's achievements and sorrows,and flies away from this Earth into the mysterious depths and distances that thought alone inhabits.

He [or she, he wrote, for my sake] who writes or interprets great music is a teacher, a builder, a true friend of humanity.

Tonight I had the extreme privelege of hanging out with a couple friends and taking in a most unusual concert dedicated to Frank Zappa. The concert was presented and performed by a new-ish Cleveland ensemble called
Red {an orchestra} -- a highly skilled collection of musicians devoted to push the boundaries of what classical music is for folks. The program included pieces by Varese, Webern, and Shostakovich -- not at all the usual orchestra- going fare. The capper was the selection of pieces by Zappa himself. Zappa fancied himself a composer but never felt his music would live up to orchestral standards.

I hope he enjoyed tonight's concert from wherever he was.

To go back to the quote from Jawbone, I find that, with the exception of my children, there is nothing more invigorating to me than music. Sitting in Cleveland's old Masonic Auditorium tonight -- a structure which housed The Cleveland Orchestra for a time and also was home to its earlier recording sessions -- Jawbone's words scrolled across my mind as I listened to seasoned musicians pair off with members of the Cleveland Youth Orchestra in a piece by Stravinsky, who himself was booed to shame when Rite of Spring premiered.

I love bluegrass because it's for everyone, and everyone can do it. But all music has meaning to me, whether it's on a more complicated level intellectually or something so simple as a Sally Goodin.

Music is entering more and more of my conversations -- and not just because I bring it up. The world is full of closet musicians -- and not just the ones who play air guitar.

The world is hungry for music.

But music is waiting to be devoured.

Devour your love.

And tell me how it goes.


At February 18, 2007 7:08 AM, Blogger MichaelBains said...

When I first read that, I was starving for breakfast. When I finished that up, the hunger for music was stronger than ever.

So I had an excellent desert of it!

(Desert au breakfast? Meh, you know what I mean. {-; )

Glad you liked teh Red!

At February 18, 2007 10:49 AM, Blogger Shameless Agitator said...

I know this past week has been rough for me, with the kids home every day. My normal routine is to say good-bye to them at 7:30 am. Then I light some of my favorite incense and play my favorite tunes. I haven't been able to do that -- "Mommy that stinks!" and "Mommy that's too loud!"


At February 18, 2007 11:49 AM, Blogger Blueberry said...

Music is just a great cause. In real music there's a whole range of emotions and expressions of them, but there's no hidden agenda or ulterior motive. It's a healing thing and a spiritual thing. I can say, without doubt, that music is a GOOD thing. That's why I'm willing to sacrifice my time working for people who can't really afford to pay me. Of course, though I will *happily* take my compensation whenever they're in full stride. I'd rather be paid in dirt from a musician than big bucks from certain corporations. What a sap I must be!

At February 18, 2007 12:59 PM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Hello all!
Mr. B, sometimes when I wake up I'm not sure quite what I'm in the mood for. So I've become too addicted to FolkAlley because I get a veritable acoustic buffet. Trouble is, now when I actually have to make a decision, it's too hard.

Shameless....Oh I hear ya. I know it's been a LONG time since you did that all-kids, all-the-time gig. Whew. One more day...

Blueberry...dear lady, you are no sap in my eyes. Your support of musicians comes from the heart because you know how important is the thankless work they do to keep the rest of us in one piece. I am with you all the way. If that makes us sappy, well then, GOOD! Something worthwhile is bound to stick because of it!

Thanks all for saying hello...I hope you enjoy your day with the appropriate soundtrack...


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