Bach’s music needs to be unlocked; its emotional content, when discovered, is somehow in and of itself, and uniquely musical. Much of it is deeply confessional. By contrast, Romantic music now seemed to create a broader emotional landscape: that of falling in love, spending a night on a bare mountain, suffering in turmoil or throwing oneself off a parapet. Instead of experiencing those things for ourselves, we are given music that stirs and excites the corresponding emotions within us. Thus the refrains of the Romantics are often more accessible, yielding their power more or less immediately. Those of us who prefer the earlier mode might even say this emotional mode became a mere substitute for experience, and that the unique, private experience of music was diminished.
Derren Brown, Happy (p152)
On a separate note, I love the above portrait, borrowed from DerrenBrown.co.uk. It’s so rich. And, I’m not at all jealous of the laddered library, nor of the impressive amp in the background. No, I’m not.
Kurt Harden’s Cultural Offering has this on forest bathing and “nature prescriptions”:
Eventually, I started to be able to distinguish the tiny splashes of singular rain drops onto each delicate leaf, all weaving into the greater song of Mother Nature. I looked down and saw tiny ants scurrying to and from an ant hill as they carried bits of leaves and branches.
Here’s a little, random inspiration from TV’s Gregg Wallace.
I was in the car yesterday, listening to Graham Norton’s radio show and Gregg Wallace was a guest (promoting a new book by him and his wife). I only really know him from Masterchef, but I thought his story was fascinating for independent professionals.
He started out as a greengrocer, supplying fruit and veg to pubs and restaurants in London. His enthusiasm and passion for locally grown, best quality produce soon led to him supplying most of the top chefs in London:
“I was passionate about it. I cared about it.”
A freelance writer interviewed and wrote a profile on him for a trade magazine. As it happened, she also wrote for BBC Radio Four.
She enthused about him to her colleagues and he was offered a show on the radio.
The radio led to television and his current career.
Throughout it all, he says, the key to his success has been people, rather than produce.
“All the telly I do is about people. Masterchef, even though it’s a cookery show, it’s really about the people.”
My takeaway from the interview: opportunity comes to people who are passionate and dedicated to what they do.
Madsen Pirie, at the Adam Smith Institute, has a piece on George Orwell, his writing and his impact.
He is still highly relevant, rewarding us not only with his fluent prose, but with his honesty. He self-identified as a socialist and a man of the Left, yet he saw and wrote about what people actually did in the name of socialism. His refusal to excuse the cynical brutality of those who claimed to carry its banner but betrayed all of its ideals, made him many enemies on the Left.