Saturday, October 28, 2006

Music Hath Charms

Thursday, we attended Rice professor of composition and theory Anthony Brandt’s lecture on “Music and the Mind.” Dr. Brandt explored how music's abstract and universal nature makes it especially relevant to the scientific understanding of the human mind. During his talk, Dr. Brandt played musical examples to emphasize his points, using both classical and modern music. Beethoven’s 2nd symphony was one of the pieces referenced. There were many learned questions after the lecture, and I was much too inhibited to mention that we have had a long series of cats who enjoyed bathing to classical music, in time, and occasionally without missing a beat. No, I didn't mention that.

The lecture was in the Hotel Marlowe, which had flown under my radar. The hotel is one of those trendy jewel box places and is across from the Cambridgeside Galleria. The wine and hors d’oeuvres met expectations, even exceeded them, the lecture was lively and stimulating and we noticed a noisy convivial crowd in the bar, which definitely needs to be explored further.

Afterward, we went into the mall to run an errand. The disparity between the Mall and the Hotel could hardly have been greater, and I think this is a class thing, partly economic but not wholly. Images I left the mall with: two young women riding on the same step of a down escalator. One is talking on her cell; the other is looking at her cell. Victoria’s Secret at the end of the day, the store in deshabille. Panty counter looks like a fetishist has mauled them all and made off with most. General air of defeat except for one young customer who is buying a skid load of pantyhose. And here I thought they were outré.

Last night at Symphony Hall for the Beethoven/Mozart concert. The Handel & Haydn Society as been generous to the max and invited long-time ticket holders to invites guests for $5 a pop. A refreshing number of young people in the crowd. S.O. swears he sees Jack Welsh, a famous but not young person. We have been trekking so symphony hall for so long that the faces in the crowd all seem somewhat familiar.

About symphony hall there is the following to say: those folks in Texas that fired the schoolteacher for taking the kids to an art museum where there are, gasp, naked statues had better stay away! Ye gods is there ever a goodly supply of naked men and women, too, as big as life with this and that draped here and there but exposing all. I couldn’t have liked it more. Noticed all the musical exposition, repetition and confirmation. The Mozart piece was a clarinet piece, with an old fashioned clarinet that looked like a pipe to be smoked. Certainly not the squeaky affair I played in high school.

We walked to Copley to catch the train. Lots of young folks in costumes and girls in pretty clothes and high heels. New Year’s Eve, 1998 we were in Wichita Kansas at the Holiday Inn, and we noticed that the girls and women were dressed to the nines while lots of guys wore their best sweat shirts. I thought this was a trend in middle America but now realize it’s all over even in Paparazzi on Dartmouth Street. Definitely a disconnect.

One more thing. Both in Park Street Station and on the Red Line en route to Braintree, people were eating greasy fast food that really smelled disgusting. The subway car wasn’t any too clean. I thought of Singapore and flogging and found the idea not altogether displeasing.



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