Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Greater Things in Life

I had quite a cultured week. Tuesday, I viewed Dorothea Lange's exhibit "Three Mormon Towns" in the MOA. Saturday evening, I went to the BYU Philharmonic Orchestra's performance. Both, INCREDIBLE experiences.


“Kids don’t live today. They just exist,” the man had said to me. My first observation of the exhibit had been done in solitude and silence. My second rotation was done in the accompaniment of a group of older southern Utahans. After observing a photograph titled, “Worldly Way Station on Route 91,” featuring an old movie drive-in, the group had proceeded to tell me about the old ways of life, recalling even that particular drive-in featured in the photograph. Following my remark of the difference between the lifestyle of their days compared to that of ours, his response was, “Kids don’t live today. They just exist.”

What are your thoughts?

I agree with him. And disagree. True, there is a rise in the number of people who limit themselves to the confines of their bedrooms, to the boundaries of the computer or TV, to the curbs of slothfulness. However, there is also an increase in those who dream, those who experiment, and those who push themselves into the world to experience its cultures, those who delve deeply into the intricacies, observations, and possibilities of life.


We Listened to Hindemith's "Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes by Carl Maria von Weber," which I really enjoyed (especially the third and fourth movements, "Andantino" and "Marsch." Go look them up). Following Hindemith, we listened to the entirety of Dvorak's New World Symphony. I LOVED it. I've listened to the second movement many many times (even recommended it to you here), but had never heard the middle section of it. I guess my version doesn't have the complete version; neither does the one I posted. Go look up Largo from The New World and listen to the middle section (Just past halfway. It starts with an oboe). Listening to it in person was infinitely better. At one point, I realized every muscle in my body had relaxed and I was melting into my chair.

I made a resolution to attend some type of musical performance once per month. You just cannot capture sound digitally the way you can with your ears. You miss so much not being there! The acoustics, of course, make a big difference. So does seeing the conductor; I love watching him. But my favorite is watching the musicians. As the music starts to climax, to intensify, they sit up straighter, lean forward. You tense with them, your heart starts to beat faster, your ears prick up to hear every change. And there is an aesthetic pleasure in watching the parallel movements of the tilted violin bows, the violinists' vibrato hand, the cellists' tilted necks.

What a beautiful mind that gives birth to these melodies!! What a skilled instrumentalist to play such music! What skilled hands to create instruments! What a skilled conductor to interpret and present the expressions of the music!

I love it. I love it all. May I, and you, attend more of these uplifting showcases of human capacity.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

I loved this. I think people today do just exist. We need to liiiiiiiiiiive