Music and art in general are things that really only people can create – they are abstract forms of expression, useless really.  In and of themselves they are not destructive – unless we want to quibble about oil paint poisoning the painter, too much loud music damaging the ears, dance affecting the joints or writing causing blindness. Words and visual arts can incite hate (though I would argue once it is intended by the artist to affect the outcome of something other than thought, it is no longer art – art is about reflection and about communication – it can be beautiful and it can be ugly.  I would argue that we need to separate the art from the artist as well – for instance with Wagner, since his art was not intended to incite, nor did it).  
Music and poetry are special – they are not tangible and cannot be locked away from the world in private collections.   Music is even more unique, more abstract – it cannot be understood visually or verbally, but it plays into our emotion, our memories and it can be seen in our minds.  We can understand it.  We can understand 3 or 4 or 5 different instruments playing entirely different, even opposing or contradicting pieces, yet communicating to create a complete piece of music in harmony, just as we can understand the written word with different lines for each character that come together and form a play.

Music is a very personal thing, and the one thing I can truly enjoy in these times.  It has the ability to carry me out of this plane and into another.  I primarily listen to classical and baroque – the conversations between the instruments have become more and more important to me, some folk here and there – and rarely Rock.  In my youth I listened to much more of it, and I remember a lot of it fondly – Jethro Tull, The Doors, oodles of Eurotrash (Europeans back me up – please! And for the record no – not Boney M or Bucks Fizz).

My husband just introduced my daughter to Hendrix – which has become her number one request when we drive somewhere.  (I can’t stand Hendrix – sorry).   Though I will concede there is art in contradiction without coming together to make sense – to me chaos.

Classical music can be a strange thing, since the composer and the piece are at the mercy of the conductor and to a lesser extent the orchestra (approx 85 people), or in chamber music with the musicians.   I’ve heard performances, with pretty well known conductors that have been mind-bogglingly painful to listen to.   I can’t stand von Karajan, probably considered the greatest conductor in the last half of the 20th century.  He was technically brilliant – unequaled, no argument, but he lacked passion and feeling – he was entirely cold.  Though I would consider Mozart the most brilliant composer ever, I listen to much more Schubert and Bach – primarily because the performances I have are at the very least above average, if not exemplary.  

One of the most flawless recordings I have ever heard is a live/analog recording of Schubert’s Unfinished: Furtwängler with the Berlin, 1953.  I also have a soft spot for Jacqueline du Pré and Glenn Gould and their standards of perfection.  I have an immense aversion to things like: 20 greatest hits of the classical world performed by an orchestral equivalent of Musac.  

I should also mention the Zulu chanting, as seen in the film Zulu (note: not on CD version) was one of the most intense performances that I’ve ever heard.  Hope they never make a remake – I can just imagine a digital army chanting.

What do you guys like, or is music even important to you?  Any recommendations – or favorite pieces?    

Do ballet and physics mix – thoughts?

Constant Speed, the first work that Baldwin has presented as the company’s artistic director, focuses on Einstein’s theories of relativity and Brownian motion.

The work is performed to six pieces by Franz Lehar, the best known of which is Gold and Silver Waltz. The music was composed around 1905, when Einstein published three seminal papers.

Ray Rivers, a physics professor, advised Baldwin on technical aspects of the theories. In an interview with the weekly magazine New Scientist, Rivers said, “Of all the art forms that one can use to express the notion of here, now, and what happens then, dance is probably the best. In some sense, there are ways you can represent equations by movement because they often describe movement. The equations and ideas in Einstein’s papers are very dynamical. Dance is better suited to the 1905 papers than any of the other visual arts.”   link