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  • On An Overgrown Path: The lost art of listening
    or play an instrument is the best way to appreciate music But if that opportunity is not available learning the art of listening is the key which is why it is such a tragedy that music appreciation along with music education has virtually disappeared as a taught subject In my own case I am eternally grateful to the Fitznells School of Music in Ewell for many years ago setting me on the never ending path to music appreciation Great animateurs of the past such as Leonard Bernstein and David Munrow were teachers of music appreciation That is Lennie above with members of the audience after one of his New York Philharmonic Young People s Concerts which reached a peak of twenty seven million TV viewers The article you are reading is influenced by the work of another great and largely forgotten animateur and apostle of music appreciation Antony Hopkins You will learn more from one page of Antony Hopkins books than from one year of listening to the current generation of classical jocks on our smooth classics stations Like meditation music appreciation works best as a group activity particularly in the early years As Sir George Trevelyan stipulated it should not to be undertaken casually and unfortunately most listening to music these days is undertaken very casually thanks to iPods But in the right circumstances music appreciation can work as a solitary activity and personally I find listening to sounds beyond what Alan Watts calls conventional music a productive way to retune my ears An excellent example of what I think of as ear candling music is the CD below by the Icelandic cellist Hildur Guðnadóttir which uses electronics to explore the space between rock and classical music There are some very beautiful and powerful abstract sounds in Without Sinking but for me this kind of contemporary music ultimately lacks development and argument Which is almost certainly because my ears are not yet fully tuned to this gentre rather than any inherent shortcomings in the music itself After listening to Without Sinking I immediately turned to Britten s Cello Suites to appreciate once again how beautiful abstract sounds can be developed by powerful musical argument But the continuing retuning of my ears means it is perfectly possible that in twelve month s time I will have completely changed my view of Without Sinking Because music appreciation like music itself only exists only in constant flux and flow The excellent recording of Britten s Cello Suites seen in my header image is by William Butt on the super budget Apex label The 2 CDs are currently selling on amazon co uk for 6 98 Which means if you don t have these masterpieces in your collection you can further explore the art of listening for very little Opening quote is from the highly recommended Sir George Trevelyan and the New Spiritual Awakening by Frances Farrer Floris Books ISBN0863153771 but out of print All featured CDs were purchased by me at retail

    Original URL path: http://www.overgrownpath.com/2009/11/lost-art-of-listening.html (2016-02-11)
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  • On An Overgrown Path: What quantum entanglement can teach classical music
    do and what not to in the search for new audiences Update new academic research confirms that classical music is non local Read the report here Also on Facebook and Twitter Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as fair use for the purpose of study review or critical analysis only and will be removed at the request of copyright owner s Posted by Pliable at Saturday January 04 2014 Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels Ann Jauregui Arcam bowers and wilkins Huston Smith Synergistic Research Quantum SR 20 fuse 10 comments A C Douglas said Bypassing your questionable quantum entanglement analogy I most heartedly agree with your general thesis and freely confess the fuse thing kind of blew my mind Never would I have guessed that the fuse was a critical factor in this business However you ve omitted a factor that s of cardinal critical importance in the accuracy of classical music reproduction the acoustic of the listening room If that factor isn t what it should be all else is largely for naught largely but not of course entirely I know this because in much earlier days but hardly at all today as I now live in an apartment that makes using loudspeakers an impossibility I too was a devoted audiophile Thorens TD125 SME arm Decca cartridge Quad aka Acoustical Manufacturing Co Ltd later changed to QUAD Electroacoustics Ltd electronics amplifiers control unit tuner Quad full range electrostatic loudspeakers ESL63 and a specially designed for use with Quad ESLs subwoofer etc etc etc and spent untold days and nights designing and testing my listening room until I d made it everything it should be No easy task I can assure you and appallingly expensive That notwithstanding it was all well worth the trouble and in spades I can assure you of that as well ACD http www soundsandfury com 5 32 pm Pliable said ACD fascinated to hear that your experience with high performance fuses mirrors mine I must confess that when I saw your name come up ahead of the comment I tensed myself for a rebuttal Just shows how we need to ditch our preconceptions Have a great New Year 5 48 pm A C Douglas said ACD fascinated to hear that your experience with high performance fuses mirrors mine Actually what I meant was that your tale of the high accuracy fuse blew my mind I never even considered the fuse to be a factor at all ACD 6 01 pm A C Douglas said Oh and a great New Year to you as well ACD 6 02 pm Pliable said ACD no problem let s just rephrase that great to hear your views on classical music being non localised mirror mine 6 10 pm Jon said You ve finally reached a level of twaddle that prompts me to stop reading your blog A shame 7 02 pm Pliable said Many thanks for reading On An

    Original URL path: http://www.overgrownpath.com/2014/01/what-quantum-entanglement-can-teach.html (2016-02-11)
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  • On An Overgrown Path: Research proves audiences become what they listen to
    How the Internet is Changing the Way We Think Read and Remember by Nicholas Carr and The Autobiography of a Sahu by Rampuri Our Aldeburgh Festival tickets were bought at the box office Header image credit Wikipedia Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as fair use for the purpose of study review or critical analysis only and will be removed at the request of copyright owner s Also on Facebook and Twitter Posted by Pliable at Sunday June 16 2013 Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels aldeburgh festival arditti quartet benjamin britten bernard haitink Edward Taub James Olds jonathan harvey Michael Merzenich 4 comments Lyle Sanford RMT said First congratulations It s my sense those moments are fairly infrequent and are to be treasured I agree with you that the newly discovered plasticity of the brain is one of the most promising things to come out of the new neuroscience We can literally change how we think and how we process sensory input Plato s talking about how some modes of music are better for us to listen to than others seems less arbitrarily judgmental seen in this light What this really makes me think of is the term flow the term Csikszentmihalyi came up with to describe that crossing over that can happen when performing music and the music seems to be happening of it s own It would be interesting to know how the performers felt about that particular performance From what I can tell anecdotally a performance that s a flow experience for the performers is more likely to trigger crossing over in the audience but that it s not necessary It s also possible that someone sitting right next to you was bored to tears by the same performance 8 13 pm kirkmc said Your post is interesting but a bit muddled in several ways First you say Hinduism and its reformed cousin Buddhism I d suggest you read at least a Wikipedia page to find out a bit more about Buddhism it s neither a cousin of Hinduism nor a reformed version of it But that s not the crux of your post You then say This is the brain s newly discovered ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections and the discovery of neuroplasticity indicates that classical music is wrong in the way it is trying to reach new audiences Well first neuroplasticity is not newly discovered it s just that it s been in the spotlight recently because a number of vulgarized books have been published about it It s been fairly well known and accepted for a couple of decades now Second this has absolutely nothing to do with trying to reach new audiences You seem to think that somehow listeners need to be brainwashed into liking classical music I know that s a bit harsh but that s what comes across in this statement Next It is beyond doubt that classical music must develop its own form of plasticity in order to adapt to wide ranging cultural and technical changes I don t know what you mean by classical music developing its own from of plasticity This sounds like post modern drivel and means nothing Honestly And this By contrast research into neuroplasticity supports the dumbing up approach Because audiences become what they listen to they will become progressively more receptive to challenging repertoire if exposed to it in the right circumstances Dumbing up means offering audiences a varied repertoire that mixes the accessible with a changing and challenging diet of the unfamiliar I think this has nothing to do with neuroplasticity you re falling into the now common trap of neuro whatever to define something It s more about a musical vocabulary that people need to learn When you re used to diatonic scales chromaticism is dissonant you need to learn the vocabulary or the phonemes if you prefer of this new type of sound The more you re exposed to these scales intervals and chords the less they shock you Finally regarding the main crux of your post where you say Yesterday his Fourth Quartet transformed Aldeburgh Church into what in those Eastern traditions is known as a tirth a transcedental location where one can cross over and that transformation triggered in me one of those rare experiences of being transported by music to another and better world This is indeed interesting but has nothing at all to do with neuroplasticity This is an experience that people have at different times and it can be caused by music by smells or tastes cf Proust s madeleine or other stimuli In zen this is called a kensho experience and when one has them they are very nice but one doesn t strive to have them they just happen when they do I describe a similar experience on one of my websites http www readingemerson com 2011 07 10 emerson and zen buddhism As to becoming what one listens to there is certainly evidence that different types of music have effects on the brain The problem is that no one has much of an idea what types of music do what or to whom or how The bit about playing Mozart to babies to make them smarter has been disproven And as someone who has meditated for a couple of decades and who has read a lot of the research I see little link between meditation s effects and that of music While certain types of music can certainly relax people this is well known and has been tested frequently others can have other effects If say a Mozart piano concerto relaxes and an atonal string quartet enervates then it s not classical music as such but specific types of music that may have effects 12 18 pm Pliable said Thanks for that kirkmc As is inevitable in this kind of post views are going to differ not the least

    Original URL path: http://www.overgrownpath.com/2013/06/we-become-what-we-listen-to-should-be.html (2016-02-11)
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  • On An Overgrown Path: Listener is performer and performer is listener
    the number of readers I have met face to face is still in single figures Every communicator needs an audience so at the risk of being accused of self aggrandisement I am linking to two recent confirmations that not only does On An Overgown Path have an audience but people are actually listening to what I am saying One example comes quite appropriately in view of the current state of classical music from the UK s busiest comedy discussion forum the other comes from David Derrick s The Toynbee convector a long running blog which reminds us that distance can bring wisdom to a subject such as classical music Follow the links here and here Also on Facebook and Twitter Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as fair use for the purpose of study review or critical analysis only and will be removed at the request of copyright owner s Posted by Pliable at Thursday February 13 2014 Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels BBC world service berlin philharmonic orchestra david derrick herbert von karajan Rumi sufism 1 comment James said For what it s worth after finding Scott Ross and his wonderful Scarlatti I found your blog I ve been reading it for the last year or so Being sort of in the middle like I always am I get most of your sentiments on classical music I have a couple really good friends along with my father who is a musician that like classical music Otherwise 9 02 am Post a Comment Newer Post Older Post Home Subscribe to Post Comments Atom Chance headlines Loading Search On An Overgrown Path Loading Blog Archive 2016 19 February 5 January 14 2015 196 December 21 November 9 October 23 September 24 August 13 July 25 June 12 May 12 April 17 March 3 February 21 January 16 2014 211 December 13 November 23 October 13 September 19 August 17 July 10 June 21 May 27 April 15 March 2 February 23 Different musical forms but the same essential tru More maestros masterpieces and madness Late night thoughts on listening to news about Ven Classical music is not a safe suburban pastime Ruminating on success When you hear hoofbeats think beyond Gregorian cha Late night thought listening to Silvestrov s Fifth Music that makes no noise of intrusion Classical music is not dead it is suburbanized Does the Rite of Spring have its roots in Sufism Independent record label 1 Corporate record lab Topical thoughts on listening to Britten s Noye s Listener is performer and performer is listener Chocolate is the root of all evil Are virtual concert halls the future of classical BBC Radio 3 lies damned lies and statistics Rameau takes a trip with Scott Ross Classical music takes the shape of the container t My world and my music are never one and the same Gustavo Dudamel to perform at Sochi Winter Olympic Rameau minus one elitist convention

    Original URL path: http://www.overgrownpath.com/2014/02/listener-is-performer-and-performer-is.html (2016-02-11)
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  • On An Overgrown Path: The problem is obvious - there is too much classical music
    economics which states that when supply of a commodity outstrips demand the value both real and perceived falls Forget the conspiracy theories and forget the canard that growth is always good Indisputable data shows that audiences for classical music are shrinking yet equally indisputably the supply of music is increasing exponentially You do not have to be a so called industry expert to see that this is a disaster waiting to happen A combination of new digital distribution technologies and avaricious media corporations has produced a perfect storm in which an oversupply is driving down the value of classical music to an all time low Without value an art form has no future so when will the classical music industry wake up and start tackling the problem of oversupply And when will it finally confront the dead moose in the room the considerable overcapacity in both the recorded and live music supply chains Also on Facebook and Twitter Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as fair use for the purpose of study review or critical analysis only and will be removed at the request of copyright owner s Posted by Pliable at Wednesday July 30 2014 Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels andrew clements benjamin britten Freiburg Opera Norwich Theatre Royal richard wagner 3 comments Pliable said A comment on Thomas Gould s shared copy of this post reads Heard William Christie with Les Arts Florrisants at the Proms last night performing Rameau totally stunning but it has been demoted to a late night prom to make way for more mainstream programmes that will draw a crowd Hardly anyone there and it made me very sad despite the fact it had some of the richest artistic interpretation of any Prom So it is not just the Theatre Royal Norwich that is experiencing lamentable attendances for classical music events 1 34 pm Arts Marketeer said Really interesting article Poor marketing is a blanket criticism which is as naive as it is unfair taking no account of the wider picture which this article ably outlines but also the fact that many arts and music organisations are now seriously under funded and marketing spend often takes an unrealistic hit when budgets for major productions are set 10 13 pm Scott said Music demands more from a listener than simply the possession of a tape machine or a transistor radio It demands some preparation some effort a journey to a special place saving up for a ticket some homework on the programme perhaps some clarification of the ears and sharpening of the instincts I understand the point Britten is making but he sets up a false dichotomy between a live performance and a recorded performance I m sure that there are many who listen to a recorded performance in the way Britten decries but I m equally sure that there are many who are down toward the other end of the spectrum A relatively recent

    Original URL path: http://www.overgrownpath.com/2014/07/the-problem-is-obvious-there-is-too.html (2016-02-11)
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  • On An Overgrown Path: The name of the game is Sir Simon says
    Labels askonas holt london symphony orchestra Marc Boleat Michael Cassidy simon rattle 1 comment Graeme said Maybe all is not yet lost and sense will return http www theguardian com music 2015 oct 25 simon rattle lso new london concert hall row I tend to agree with Mr Lloyd Webber that the money should be spent on education rather than on architectural follies 12 06 am Post a Comment Newer Post Older Post Home Subscribe to Post Comments Atom Chance headlines Loading Search On An Overgrown Path Loading Blog Archive 2016 19 February 5 January 14 2015 196 December 21 November 9 October 23 There are no quick wins Contemporary Greek music loses its baggage Do musicians play music or does music play musici Why opera tickets are perceived as expensive The madness of crowds Do you believe in magic When the hype is justified When the hype hits the fan The name of the game is Sir Simon says Where has all the idealism gone Suicide is painless A real artist cannot accept the world the way it i What price classical music s celebrity culture Making settled things strange Don t say you were not warned What is a celebrity Analogue man Does Facebook really have to be this dire A musician supreme Many dangers hedge around the unfortunate composer How not to stand out In praise of the unspectacular Why Western music September 24 August 13 July 25 June 12 May 12 April 17 March 3 February 21 January 16 2014 211 December 13 November 23 October 13 September 19 August 17 July 10 June 21 May 27 April 15 March 2 February 23 January 28 2013 257 December 21 November 17 October 31 September 8 August 35 July 24 June 24 May 8 April 31 March

    Original URL path: http://www.overgrownpath.com/2015/10/the-name-of-game-is-sir-simon-says.html (2016-02-11)
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  • On An Overgrown Path: In search of the lost orgasm
    fair use for critical analysis only and will be removed at the request of copyright owner s Posted by Pliable at Tuesday February 02 2016 Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels Drew McManus Gustav Mahler leonard bernstein No comments Post a Comment Newer Post Older Post Home Subscribe to Post Comments Atom Chance headlines Loading Search On An Overgrown Path Loading Blog Archive 2016 19 February 5 Classical music has more than one glass ceiling Classical music has a new audience but nobody noti Master musician who never performed in public Wanted an audience of innocent ears In search of the lost orgasm January 14 2015 196 December 21 November 9 October 23 September 24 August 13 July 25 June 12 May 12 April 17 March 3 February 21 January 16 2014 211 December 13 November 23 October 13 September 19 August 17 July 10 June 21 May 27 April 15 March 2 February 23 January 28 2013 257 December 21 November 17 October 31 September 8 August 35 July 24 June 24 May 8 April 31 March 8 February 24 January 26 2012 276 December 22 November 25 October 23 September 12 August 20 July 27 June 27 May 7 April 32 March 27 February 24 January 30 2011 299 December 22 November 21 October 42 September 12 August 24 July 38 June 29 May 5 April 34 March 9 February 33 January 30 2010 281 December 37 November 20 October 36 September 7 August 37 July 27 May 17 April 33 March 12 February 26 January 29 2009 367 December 22 November 23 October 33 September 7 August 35 July 30 May 42 April 39 March 41 February 47 January 48 2008 476 December 38 November 40 October 57 September 39

    Original URL path: http://www.overgrownpath.com/2016/02/in-search-of-lost-orgasm.html (2016-02-11)
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  • On An Overgrown Path: Dangerous people who make our problems insoluble
    disputes in American orchestras that this may well cause the collapse of classical music as we know it Is this not another way of saying that the conductors labour relations have been more effective Many all of the conductor player comments and diagnoses apply equally well to corporate CEO s workers it seems to me 9 08 pm Pliable said Scott I m quite happy to disagree amicably on this one rather than get locked into a circular discussion Also quite happy to be termed deliberately naive if that is what is needed to register my horror at this level of remuneration in a sector of the arts that is pleading poverty every single day of the week Let s call it a day and go back to record company PR releases 9 12 pm Pliable said Scott says in conclusion Agree An ongoing pleasure to have somewhere where a civilized disagreement is possible and instructive thanks again 6 23 am John said Interesting that three of your chosen conductors were established names when I began listening to classical music some 30 years ago Gilbert is six years younger than me 10 11 am Philip Amos said James Sinegal co founder of Costco when asked why he took a base salary of only 350 000 replied How much do I need Sinegal was ranked as one of the best CEOs by Fortune so out goes the argument that those staggering salaries elsewhere are necessary to attract the best And symphony orchestras are corporations today as is nigh on everything else So just where did this business of 50000 for a Perlman recital 18000 to Reich just for showing up multiple music directorships at massive salaries with orchestras lucky to see their director five weeks a year etc start I have no doubt with management agencies notably those who have long rosters of artists also represent orchestras and have fingers in operatic pies and in recording companies This is a moral issue Artists know orchestras and opera houses are collapsing That in the States a top member of a mid range orchestra might get 75000 p a That they get gigs with certain orchestras at vast fees because the agent also represents orchestras and can use a little persuasion re who an orchestra must engage to get who they also want So those ludicrous fees had better be paid and few artists seem bothered by the financial fall out But this is half the problem SOs are corporations often headed by MBAs everything to an MBA is a product and all products are Big Macs susceptible to the same business model they learned at school Double disaster for many also have little interest in the organizations they head little in its true product It is all the bottom line PR image and spin They are wrong it is often disastrous and it plays into the hands of the agencies I make here a general point based on cases I know too

    Original URL path: http://www.overgrownpath.com/2012/11/dangerous-people-who-make-our-problems.html (2016-02-11)
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