Haunted with the best of them.
On Christmas eve, I pulled over to listen to an NPR piece about Admirers of the Allegretto from Beethoven’s 7th. There were several recordings of variations on that music and interviews with musicians about their reactions and responses to the music. The NPR commentator also had a long history with the piece. It’s one of those pieces of music that is instantly familiar and yes, haunting is a good word. I did some rummaging and found a recording of the Seventh. I had spent a lot of time in the past two years with the Ninth and it was so different feeling. And each movement of the Seventh is different also. Related but different.
Pushed by this new Beethoven focus, I bought a complete set of symphonies plus some piano concerti and overtures. Whoa. My iPod is brimming with Beethoven. But no shuffle or play through in order for me. Oh no. I’m now stuck on the Seventh like I was on the Ninth. And since i have two versions now, I can even switch off and compare performances.
I’m not at all sure what this means, but I can recommend the practice, even if your music is different. Listening to something repeatedly gives you a lot of time to think about how it was written, the different parts, what makes it sound that way.
I confess I spend quite a bit of time thinking about what it must be like to be able to create music like this. I wonder what it was like for Beethoven to have these ideas, what his creative process was like, what it was like for him to begin rehearsals and hear the first performance. What was it like to be a musician for those first performances – or to be in the audience?
Feel good story of the week.
Be sure to read all the way to the end and check out the photos. I felt a little teary-eyed at the end – what a nice thing to be doing what you’re passionate about!
And in other news:
Desler said Microsoft would cover Mike’s costs of changing to a new Web site and redirecting traffic from the old site. Microsoft also had agreed to help the teen get Microsoft certification training and other gifts, including an Xbox game console, he said, and has invited Mike to a technology festival in March at the corporation’s headquarters in suburban Redmond.
I sure hope those “other gifts” includes the sizeable CASH that the domain name is apparently worth to MS! What do you think? I think the kid needed a better lawyer.
And a big round of applause to the fine folks at Blogger for a) responding to my email after b) tweaking around with my blog and c) making the whole thing work again. You’re the best, guys. And it’s good to know that fame and glory and life with Google hasn’t changed the Blogger I knew back when. And while I’m at it – I still wear my Blogger tshirt proudly!
I thought this radio “article” about the similarities between how the brains of very creative/genius people and those with some mental illnesses work very interesting. There was much discussion about “latent inhibition” a process which allows us to filter all the stimuli that we’re all surrounded with every day. Having a low level of latent inhibition is a common pattern in both very creative and intelligent people and also people with schizophrenia.
I thought it was very interesting especially the description of when a person is “in the zone” or “in the flow moment” — they are extremely focused WHILE being very aware of everything around them and able to take it all in and allow it to feed their creative process. This ability of being focused while keeping everything at your fingertips is a sort of sweet spot for the creative person. You can focus on one thing while keeping awareness of the whole picture.