Sunday, August 30, 2009

If you only read one article this week, this should be it...

Pearls Before Breakfast - "Joshua Bell is one of the world's greatest violinists. His instrument of choice is a multimillion-dollar Stradivarius. If he played it for spare change, incognito, outside a bustling Metro stop in Washington, would anyone notice?"
Art is something we should think about. Something we should appreciate and celebrate. How we value it should be more than a sum of what we paid for it, or the venue in which it has been presented. How would I have reacted? My sister is a concert oboist. I grew up so surrounded by her music that I wasn't even aware of how much of it sunk-in until I was years out of the house and a thousand miles from home. Which is to say that I have a better than average appreciation of music, but less than my sister's (of course). How would I have reacted walking by this guy, funnelling his heart through the strings of a Stradivarius? Would I have recognized his talent? His skill? Would I have stopped to appreciate it? Would I have dropped a dollar in his violin case? I like to think I would, but I honestly I don't know. In an acoustically imperfect venue, amid the noisse and bustle of the rush hour crowd... I just don't know. Music, they say, if food for the soul. On this day, in that venue... it is also food for thought.

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Pages to Type is a blog about books, writing and literary culture (with the occasional digression into coffee and the care and feeding of giant robots).