Music, what does it communicate? Is whatâ€™s clear to me clear to you? Is music just sounds? Then what does it communicate? Is a truck passing by music? If I can see it, do I have to hear it too? If I donâ€™t hear it, does it still communicate? If while I see it I canâ€™t hear it, but hear something else, say an egg-beater, because Iâ€™m inside looking out, does the truck communicate or the egg-beater, which communicates? Which is more musical, a truck passing by a factory or a truck passing by a music school?
â€¨-John Cage, Silence
Happy 100th, John Cage! What if share my own favorite experience with John Cage and his infamous 4'33"?
If you spend any time on YouTube, you'll occasionally find a video with the audio disabled due to copyright issues. There is debate about whether the music industry has a right to restrict access in this specific context, but wherever you come down on the issue, this one is a little odd. Check out the red box.
One of my most important personal mantras is "Do not take yourself too seriously." In this spirit, I present to you Recession 2008: "Which Classical Composer Would Hypothetically Survive and Who Would Need a Government Bailout, The Tournament."
Rachel Donadioâ€™s essay in Sundayâ€™s New York Times (â€śItâ€™s Not You, Itâ€™s Your Booksâ€ť) explores the touchy subject of reading habits in romantic relationships. Say you liked Jonathan Franzenâ€™s â€śThe Correctionsâ€ť or â€śThe Fountainheadâ€ť by Ayn Rand and you find out your date didnâ€™t. Poof. Instant turn-off factor. The disclosure causes the same illogical deflation as the sight of someone clutching a fork like a shovel. Some habits arenâ€™t sexy. With books, itâ€™s a matter of taste, so itâ€™s even more important.