How often do we find ourselves wondering, convinced that the trajectory of a certain discipline is dying, just because we don’t see it presented and dominating our algorithm determining screens?
Is it dying or is it dead already
On this occasion I am talking about Classical music and this is not a dream! It is a dream within a dream within a dream of illusion that seems abundant in our current internet collective. I often sense the pulse of wider audience by streaming my creative process with the world and one particular comment got my attention. The comment was full of resentment towards classical music which is immediately a good sign (I thought), it means that the person behind it feels strongly about it, but because of a lack of understanding, was inclined to doom and gloom about it along the lines of “this type of music is for old people, those associated with the mid 20th century or post war”. I jumped on to explain, but further comment was “mummies are listening to the classical music”
What the comment maker and the like minded don’t understand is that the classical music is the one that stretches from the times of the Antiquity, just like the piece of literature or a painting that dates back as far as our historical eyes can see, it is not designed to be “consumed” by the “old people”, it is designed to be explored by the posterity. Classical music is about a thought, a construct, the whole life within the chosen form of expression. The fact that today we still study, analyse, admire Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Ravel, Hindemith,……etc the list goes on. Can we truly say the same of the popular contemporaries of those composers? Please don’t tell me that popular music didn’t exist back then, it surely did, but was less visible in the same way it is more visible today. Sadly but factually, the historical visibility is determined by those who are in power. In Beethoven’s time it was a certain class, a minority who was listening to the classical music, in today’s time it is again a certain class, a minority, but a majority is the one that is the most visible in our times full of media distortion and commercial agendas, which is why classical music seems invisible.
Classical music is a book-reading experience
We rarely read books just for the sake of entertainment (simply because time is valuable and there are faster entertainment providers such as same old TV/youtube), we often read the books in order to learn something, develop a greater understanding, open and build a castle, forest, new planet, universe… in our minds of infinite possibilities.
Why is it that when it comes to music it almost becomes an aggressive paramount that it should serve within what we perceive as “entertainment” a pass time, a background music, something to help us concentrate, something to help our mood, something to help us feel, it is becoming a self help industry, or am I wrong?
A little confession
To me, and it took me some time to realize because even though I was a classical pianist since the age of 9, it took me 6 years of living a parallel life, on one hand practicing and learning classical repertoire and on another listening to some rock, heavy rock and metallic sounds which I thought was obviously a corresponding music to my character and it was much easier to fit in, even though I never shied away from my extreme views and going against the direction of the crowd.
At the age of 16 however I started reading philosophy, finding the patterns of life, exploring meditation and I started understanding the classical music in it’s full light (not just as something that serves to be performed on concerts/competitions which was often the objective of my professors further distorting the views), but something that opens the doors and allows creation of the most fantastical internal worlds trans-passing the boundaries a literary work may have with words, or a visual work may have with space.
What are we going to do when we have everything sorted, optimized for a life in comfort on this planet (provided we don’t self destruct, which I don’t think we will) will we evolve searching for some higher forms of comforts? I have recently learnt of a word “snowflake” and I sometimes even refer to myself as one because I don’t like to drive,…etc. just because I can get away with it, but in the wake of so much depression that seems to be hitting this world (young and elderly, successful and non successful — whatever the current definition may refer to), my question and answer for the future is:
Can we find the purpose by just
seeing/reading/listening to the self help disciplines, searching for the recipes, facing the within comfort and outside the comfort zone with various ammunition provided in those books or is the purpose hidden in finding some deeper meanings, reading the historical contexts of the fields of interest?
and my answer as always is:
Seeing the “world in the grain of sand” whichever discipline that grain may belong to, but we have to make a same old, boring, effort in learning and understanding the piece of art and eventually create our own that radiates with life, power, gravity of thoughts. An empire of thinking is the only future we as a civilization are going towards even if it seems hopeless at times. It is a long road, but it is paved with ever more complex steps, music, thoughts, technologies, art.
If you like or dislike this article, please feel free to comment, recommend, fragment or dissect the text as you see fit, I love strong opinions and I learn from the opposite views a lot and you can connect with me directly via www.twitter.com/ideasrex
Thank you for reading and seeing the photos — each equals 1000 words, so just imagine how many words you read in here 🙂
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