The only obstacle to realeasing joy is the unwillingness to express love for someone or something.
I was doing a play in central Massachusetts one summer. A friend in New Hampshire, David, who had heard me on the radio but had never seen me perform on the stage drove down to see it. After the performance we went out for a beer with a few of the cast. David jokingly said "I don't know how much they're paying you but it's too much because you're having too much fun."
One of the silliest things some directors will say, at the end of the rehearsal period when there's nothing left but to perform it, is "Have fun with it." Of course, unless it's a stupid play, in which case it probably wouldn't be done, or unless the director has messed it up, we are going to have fun with it. We enjoy the work. If we didn't we wouldn't do it because it's very difficult, if it's done right.
Over the years I have tried to share my love of music and my joy in hearing it. I don't understand why people who can enjoy popular music run and hide when a concert of classical music is about to happen. I have tried, oh how I've tried, to get friends interested in opera and orchestral music. They are usually polite but unresposive.
I have a preference for classical music, of course, but that's mainly because it stretches over a period of 600 years. I started out as an opera lover, but gradually my ears and my head opened up to include all kinds of music and I soon realized that's what a true music lover does. I was a Beatles fan at the same time I was a Beethoven fan. I remember one day amazing a young woman when I started to sing "Fist there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is." She was surprised that I knew about Donovan. "Of course I do" I said.
Today I enjoy jazz, rock, folk, country. I even have a distant relative who was a country music entertainer, Dr. Humphrey Bate and his Possum Hunters. Google them if you don't believe me.
It's a question of developing a taste for quality and expression. Some friends and I went to the Newport Jazz Festival at Carnegie Hall one year. Some of the world's best musicians came and jammed through one song for hours. Davis, Gillespie, Mulligan, Garner (one of my favorites) A rock musician who is a master guitarist is a joy to hear. I remember seeing and hearing a duet played by George Harrison and Eric Clapton, Their differences were not apparent in their music, or maybe it was resolved in the music. I came of age during the folk music revival when there was Pete Seeger and the Weavers, Joni Mitchell, Jesse Winchester, The Dillards. Country Music was taught to me by a former girl friend and I learned to love Doc Watson, Vassar Clements. I used to live in Inwood, which is the northern tip of Manhattan Island. When I crossed Broadway I was in Little Dominica, my bank was over there. On the way there was a music store. In the good weather the owner put out a speaker on which he played Salsa music. Salsa if you don't know it is music of joy and life. I loved to stop and listen along with the local folks. The late, great Tito Puente was a graduate of Julliard School, which meant he analyzed Bach fugues, composed traditional music, learned to play percussion and to conduct before he graduated.
I have written before about one of the most exciting concerts I ever was fortunate enough to attend. It was in the band shell, Damrosch Park, Lincoln Center, New York. where I saw and heard Percy Sledge and the Uptown Brass. It was an hour of pure love and joy. I will never forget it.
So, with all this great music around why do people shy away, get tight lipped and start looking for their coats to get away from classical music, why are they intimidated by it, or why do they think it's boring and not for them? It's music after all. "I don't understand it." If you listened to the Berg Lyric Suite as often as you listen to the Rolling Stones you would come to understand it and like it. If you knew the Bach B minor Mass, Mozart's Don Giovanni, the late Beethoven String Quartets, Wagner's Parsifal, the Shostakovich Symphony No. 5, Stravinski's Rite of Spring and Schoenberg's Verklarte Nacht, just to name a few, you would know music like I know music.
"So much of that modern stuff just sounds like a lot of noise." It's only noise because you are not hearing what you expect to hear and so not hearing what's there. I wouldn't subject you to Webern, Berio, Stockhousen or Carter before you're ready but I can promise you once you have broken down the obstacles you have erected for yourself between you and any form of new and old music a whole world of expression, fascination, entertainment and joy will open up.
I love music, and that is one of the main sources of joy for me.
(This is not a contest.)
Who are the 2 (two) most important people alive today? Why?
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