Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Thunderstorms and Classical Music


Just about any music in C sharp minor is dead sexy.  There's really no way to deny this - I'm fairly certain there is some statistical proof of this.  I mean, there's statistics saying humans should be able to grow wings and fly within the next forty three thousand years, so why in the hell not about music? 

There's something haunting about it.  Outside of the bohemian feel most pieces composed within this key support, there's a certain lost whimsy; a simple desire to just listen to music - to feel and enjoy the music at its most basic level.

I especially love the way a well written sonata punctuates the weather.  I especially love when the same piece can accent snow, rain, lightning, and sunshine in equally effective ways.  I love to just sip a warm cup of coffee on a mild day, skies grey, but the sunshine forcing their way through, as it casts a hazy, soft yellow bloom.  The thunder strikes, alternating its time with the tympani, booming right along with the best of the brass; the same appreciation of life in a blade of brilliant, green grass on a day so warm and bright front yards seem to have a radioactive glow.

Rolling through traffic with Ernst Dohn√°nyi creates and entirely surreal effect.  Traditionally, I'd favor scream-your-lungs out music and metal.   This fits the tone of the drive better: superiority complex meets short ton of steel meets impatience.  The look on the faces of other drivers as you slowly beat out the rhythm of a rolling waltz on the steering wheel of a beat up 2001 Saturn (color: blood of my enemies) is absolutely priceless.  This is something you’d think I wouldn’t notice, but, I am still a vain creature.  It’s something you would think other people don’t give a shit about, but, they are still vain creatures. 

What vanity has trained us to disregard the music of eras past?  If anything, I feel these modern shoegazers have the closest thing to Mozart our era can grasp at, and that’s not necessarily a compliment to either.  When learning to write music, you first learn to write the music of others.  There’s a form, structure, and flow to the music.  These beatnik poets think they’re being so goddamn clever, but their sound is the same as the sploosh of a ghost poo – all the fury and rage with nothing to show.

Classical music, though – there’s some passion.  Blood, sweat, and years all poured into a single composition.  In twenty minutes you can hear two years of someone’s life- their loss, gains, love and anger.  In modern times, you hear sweaty ball sacks rubbing against pocket-dialed phones with a drunk murmur in the background.  It’s not art – it’s a business.

Art has always been a business – even these classical musicians knew this. They didn’t only sit in dank, candlelit rooms for the hell of it.  They paid rent, taught harpsichord, and were paid to make musicals and dinner music for rich lords.  They were humble for the sake of their art, and they were paid handsomely for it.

What is “Selling out” anyway?  Is it a moral notion?  Is it selling yourself for sex? - At a lower-than-market value?  No: it’s you – the purchaser – upset because you didn’t understand how the world works.  People like money.  Some people are damn fool enough to equate it with happiness.  They think buying women, cars, and big houses make them happy.  And you – the purchaser that “supported” these desires get upset because they’re trying to make money for themselves.

First of all, you were only a one/ten/twenty dollar purchase out of millions.  Maybe we should be applauding these fuckers for so being so goddamn clever.  They’re selling the same product to millions of people, and each one is having a different, unique response to the same product.  Last time I checked, that defies Einstein’s theory of insanity - which, by that argument, makes them so sane they’re a genius.

Second, people have bills to pay.  Get over yourself and realize this.  Your boss is paying you to do what you do – doesn’t that mean you’re just as guilty of “Selling out?”  So, you paid ten dollars to color and personalize your life – it’s not like you gave an entire paycheck to these people.  Do you get upset that Starbucks is “selling out,” what with their delicious caramel macchiatos? – No, you don’t give a fuck. 

Third, the only person “wrong” in this situation is you.  No one else has any control over how you react to a situation.  I’d say if you’re so damn upset over a group “selling out,” you should look deeper.  Why are you upset?  What have they done, specifically, to turn you into a sour pepper?  Do you envy their looks? - Their morals?

The next time you get mad at an artist for doing what they do so damn well, maybe you should just remember the wonderful things that you can do, which they can’t.  Things like rolling your tongue, playing chess, going to the grocery store without paparazzi, a rational comfort at STD jokes – all of this.  Don’t focus on things that make you feel negatively, or you will become a negative person, and blame is just a step onto that sloped road.

Instead, make some coffee, and watch the rain pour to some awesome classical music - the originators of “selling out” music.  On vinyl, even.

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