I don’t quite know what music means to the people reading this blog. Presumably quite a lot. Enough that you are willing to come here and spend the information economy’s equivalent of hard currency, by taking the time to read, or even just to click on. It’s different for everyone, of course. For many, the compilation cds that come with the Sunday supplements provide more than enough material to get them through the year; for others the effort and outlay they expend on completing cd or vinyl collection far surpasses the boundaries of mere hobbyist or enthusiastic collector and enters into the realms of the dangerously addicted. I’m struggling here, trying to think of a way to get you to click on the link I’ve posted below. It’s not even anything to do with BlancoMusic, and it sure as hell won’t help us sell any records. It’s really got very little to do with the opening sentences of today’s post either. I can’t really describe what I’m trying to get at here. Usually I can think of plenty of ways to link to my topic of choice for the day, but today my efforts feel dwarfed by the subject in question. Let’s just say that it is massively important to us, to music, to human society in its totality, that people like the one in the link below continue to exist; to be valued; to be given the chance to make a living from dedicating their lives to the pursuit of musical excellence. If you can’t be bothered to open the link, I’ll paraphrase its content as best as I can. This is a vid of Paul Lewis, talking about his preparation for playing five Beethoven piano pieces at the BBC Proms this coming summer. If you don’t know what the BBC proms are, let’s just say that they’re a series of classical concerts which take place every summer, are broadcast nationally, are something of a cultural mainstay in UK society and are, somehow, simultaneously highbrow and popular. Actually, it’s not important where or when the actual concerts are – it’s the fact that the pianist conveys so well the sheer precision of playing just one chord in exactly the right way. How playing a simple G-major chord with the right balance and accenting can take an opening to a concerto, one that is commonly thought of as austere and daunting, and instead present it convincingly as a curtain opening to show light behind. Forget about BlancoMusic and me trying to somehow gain your confidence and affection; about my bumbling efforts to somehow translate that into getting you to buy something that we sell. Forget that for a moment, and forget all the ‘thank you for the music, the songs we’re singing’ crap that I often spout on here about how the erosion of music as a valued artefact/music-as-a-service/streaming-as-a-musickiller/musicians-should-sell-music-not-phials-of-blood. Instead, just think about the levels of training and practise; of lucidity and clarity; of vision and expression; of sheer one-chance-only-get-it-right pressure; of the mastery of fingertip and body control it takes to get one major chord to do what he gets it to do.
Forget about BlancoMusic for a moment and just think about music. How utterly, utterly gorgeous it is to live in a world where someone can devote such energy and talent into making such beautiful, beautiful sounds.