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Looking at Extremes

As I wrote in What Lasts, classical music performances are an excellent place for me to think and tune out distractions. In addition to the suggestion that ideas are the durable commodity of our time, during that cello concert, I had another thought that was interesting to me.

Matthew is a twenty year old, and he's an excellent cello player. I have no idea if he's excellent amongst the field of professional cello players, but I mean that he's excellent in that he can play complex cello pieces well enough that they sound perfect to an amateur like me.

It's an interesting thing, learning to play cello. People have been learning to play cello for hundreds of years. It's an old trade. Some might even call it an antiquated trade.

Another antiquated trade is small-farm tea growing. I spent a couple days on a tea farm in Fujieda, Japan last year. The family that ran the farm ranged in age from mid twenties to mid eighties. Everyone worked. I asked about this arrangement, and they told me, with audible sadness in their voices, that they were the exception to the rule. Most younger members of the family were going to the city, leaving the tea growing to the older generation. When they died, they said, the tea farms usually closed or got sold to the conglomerates making crappy tea-in-a-bottle.

Early on a Sunday Morning

On Where Pianos Roam

Okay, so, actually it's early on a Monday morning, but oops, oh well.  I spent this morning sending out invites to my show that takes place in exactly a week .  .  .  . My good friend Benjamin Rumble designed this promo banner for me.  Isn't it really cool? I just got done watching a good bit of the VMA's tonight.  There were some pretty good performances.  Those Jonas Brothers can actually sing and play instruments.  I hope they'll be given room to grow creatively.  It would be tragic if they were singing the same kinds of songs ten years from now. Oh gosh, Britney looked fan-freakintastic!!!  She won a slew of awards without barely even trying.  Maybe Mtv felt bad about her performance last year.  Who knows.  She certainly has a knack for getting a lot of the attention. Watching all of this got me thinking about how much the music industry has changed.  All of it is so glossy and youth-oriented right now, and hip-hop is huge.  It seems as if money is dictating the madness.  Oh, I don't know.  The skirts are skimpier.  Rappers' jeans droop lower.  Mens' jeans are skinnier.  There is this insatiable need to take everything to provocative extremes.  Well, I suppose that's what you call entertainment, but I miss the days when people were also allowed to be subtle and understated. I'm headed for another busy week of deadlines and preparations.  Maybe someday I can hire an assistant.  There's just too much to do.   I'm just going to have to prioritize. I took some sleeping pills to make sure I get plenty of rest.  They are kicking in right about now as I am yawning. I've got a bunch of goodies to post this week at WPR (Where Pianos Roam).  Stay tuned. -g

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