Friday, March 28, 2008

Living the Sped-Up Life? Use Classical Music to Slow Down

I saw an article in the USA Today recently that in a weird way explains precisely why I started this classical music blog.

Let me share a few choice quotes:

“Don't have time to read all those magazines you subscribe to? Not a problem. A new website called Brijit offers one-paragraph summaries of even the most complex and deeply researched tomes.”

“Speed dating too slow? Speed dispatches with the in-person part of the encounter and sets strangers up for three-minute rounds of e-mailing or instant messaging. ‘We found that people think filling out long forms for most dating sites is too time-consuming,’ says co-founder Dan Abelon. ‘Our goal is to get people together, but even faster than before.’”

“Take Irit Epelbaum. Compared with the laid-back pace of her native Bolivia, her rapid-fire Silicon Valley lifestyle is the stuff of madness. But by our time-crunched standards, she's family. ‘I drop off my laundry on the way out the door, I listen to Portuguese language tapes during my commute, I exercise at lunch if I can, and I eat at my desk.’ No wonder Epelbaum, 28, was intrigued by Though the service didn't yield a boyfriend, it did fit neatly into her schedule.”

People who live this way (and at times I include myself in this group) tend to confuse the idea of doing something faster with doing something better.

I had a boss once tell me that it had been years since he had actually read a book. Frankly, it showed in his investment decisions, and in how consensus-driven and fundamentally uncreative his thinking was. He was too busy, naturally! Of course you can also waste a lot of time reading hundreds of one-paragraph "executive summaries" of things that help you arrive at an utterly consensus view. Or doing hyper-speed-dating that doesn't “yield” a boyfriend.

Which brings me to classical music.

The thing about classical music is you can't boil it down into a one-paragraph summary. You have to invest the time to listen to it. You have to sit there and concentrate. It’s like lifting weights for your attention span.

And I'm all too aware of how--over 12 years of a high-energy, low-free-time career--an amazing collection of classical music sat on my shelves, ignored, unlistened to and wasted. I just never chose to make the time to listen to it.

That changes this year with this blog.

1 comment:

Barbara said...

Beautiful Music in a Spectacular Club Setting in New York
Ossia Symphony Orchestra will join in the celebration of the 80th birthday of Composer Andre Previn with an all-Previn program on May 26th at (Le) Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleeker Street. This will be the second concert in the OSO’s 2008/2009 season and the one of the only all-Previn program in the NY celebration. Violinist, Lara St. John and soprano, Heather Buck, will be the guest artists for this celebration of the Oscar-winning composer’s career.

The mission of the OSO is to provide professional musicians and students with funding that will assist in paying tuition fees and loans. In addition, renowned guest artists perform with Ossia in venues throughout the USA. In this way, Ossia enables our most talented musicians to focus on their artistic careers. Audiences will have the opportunity to experience the artistry of some of our most talented musicians. OSO is the only orchestra to provide such scholarships.