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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Discovery of Music and Visual Arts

I listened to Liszt's "Dance of Death" live with Marc Andre Hamelin on piano for the first time yesterday at the Seattle Symphony. It was beautiful!

In the Q&A session, I learned something very interesting from Dennis Russell Davies. Discovery of music is very different than discovery of visual arts (paintings). When you see new art in a museum, you may or may not like it. However, you can think about what you saw and go back to the museum a few times, look at it again and make up your mind if you really like the painting or not. On the other hand, when you hear new music for the first time - on radio, TV, or at a concert - if you don't like or don't understand it then chances of you thinking about it are very low. It is because you don't know if and when you will hear the music again. In addition, if you did not like the music you would not purchase it. It is possible that you may hear the music again by chance and start liking it enough to purchase it and then with repeated exposure you can understand it and decide if you really like it or not.

To summarize, generally, people fall in love with music "at first sight" and with visual arts the love may be at first sight or it may develop over a few dates:-)