Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Classical music and mind tricks

How we fool ourselves into thinking we're supporting when we're not

“Man, I haven’t been to the symphony in years.”
“Man, I haven’t been to the symphony in years.”

I’ve often heard people say how important it is to support the arts. If you’re reading this then you’ve probably said something along those lines yourself. Often this sentiment is then followed up by a qualifying statement such as, “Man, I haven’t been to the symphony in years.”

It’s an interesting little tick many of us have. We state that the arts are important to us. Pause. Then realize we haven’t been to anything for a while.

I used to regularly go up to Los Angeles for opera and symphony performances but, “Man, I haven’t done that in years.”

It’s terrifying when I think about the quality and reliability of the cars that took me to those concerts. I have more resources and more reliable transportation to go to L.A. but I don’t. Why?

Video:

Top 10 classical composers

...from the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods

...from the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods

I'm beginning to think that just saying, “Supporting the arts is important,” feels like it’s supporting the arts. It is, however, not supporting the arts.

I think the arts, or in this case classical music, are subject to the same behaviors as other topics we think are important. It is no secret that most of us need more exercise and a better diet. The trap we fall into is talking about exercise and diet instead of doing exercise and diet.

The slight release of mental stress that comes from talking or reading about exercise is enough to make us feel as though we’ve made an improvement, even though we haven’t actually done any exercise. I’m beginning to think the same thing is going on with classical music and, if we’re to be honest, any number of other areas in our lives.

I was disappointed in the turn out to Jeremy Denk’s performance of The Goldberg Variations last week and chose to let that disappointment come across, loud and clear, in my writeup of the concert.

Upon further reflection and a few conversations, I don’t think there was a conscious neglect involved in those who knew about the concert but didn't go.

I think the idea of wanting to go to a concert is enough to make us feel as though we did something. Again, this happens in many areas of contemporary life. How many books do we buy and never read?

After the concert we said we wanted to go, we might add to the feeling of support by saying, “Shucks, I really wanted to go to that.” It works before and after the concert we didn’t go to.

How many times do we trick ourselves into thinking that we’re supporting something that we do care about when in reality we’re not supporting anything. The willingness to support music is out there but it is distracted.

The ability to focus this distracted support will probably make or break any number of classical music organizations in the coming years.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

San Diego fishing life, dirty work, tools of the trade

The heady job of a waiter, nurses on the run, who brings you your candy
“Man, I haven’t been to the symphony in years.”
“Man, I haven’t been to the symphony in years.”

I’ve often heard people say how important it is to support the arts. If you’re reading this then you’ve probably said something along those lines yourself. Often this sentiment is then followed up by a qualifying statement such as, “Man, I haven’t been to the symphony in years.”

It’s an interesting little tick many of us have. We state that the arts are important to us. Pause. Then realize we haven’t been to anything for a while.

I used to regularly go up to Los Angeles for opera and symphony performances but, “Man, I haven’t done that in years.”

It’s terrifying when I think about the quality and reliability of the cars that took me to those concerts. I have more resources and more reliable transportation to go to L.A. but I don’t. Why?

Video:

Top 10 classical composers

...from the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods

...from the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods

I'm beginning to think that just saying, “Supporting the arts is important,” feels like it’s supporting the arts. It is, however, not supporting the arts.

I think the arts, or in this case classical music, are subject to the same behaviors as other topics we think are important. It is no secret that most of us need more exercise and a better diet. The trap we fall into is talking about exercise and diet instead of doing exercise and diet.

The slight release of mental stress that comes from talking or reading about exercise is enough to make us feel as though we’ve made an improvement, even though we haven’t actually done any exercise. I’m beginning to think the same thing is going on with classical music and, if we’re to be honest, any number of other areas in our lives.

I was disappointed in the turn out to Jeremy Denk’s performance of The Goldberg Variations last week and chose to let that disappointment come across, loud and clear, in my writeup of the concert.

Upon further reflection and a few conversations, I don’t think there was a conscious neglect involved in those who knew about the concert but didn't go.

I think the idea of wanting to go to a concert is enough to make us feel as though we did something. Again, this happens in many areas of contemporary life. How many books do we buy and never read?

After the concert we said we wanted to go, we might add to the feeling of support by saying, “Shucks, I really wanted to go to that.” It works before and after the concert we didn’t go to.

How many times do we trick ourselves into thinking that we’re supporting something that we do care about when in reality we’re not supporting anything. The willingness to support music is out there but it is distracted.

The ability to focus this distracted support will probably make or break any number of classical music organizations in the coming years.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

California Democratic Party reaps Sempra cash windfall

Utility spreads political money while fighting to keep San Diego power monopoly
Next Article

Cavalier Mobile Home owners vs. the rest of the neighborhood

Barbara Villasenor convinced to re-erect fire lane gate
Comments
2

May I suggest some possible reasons explaining the low turnout at Jeremy' Denk's Goldberg Variations recital:

  1. Week nights (Tuesday) are usually tougher to sell in San Diego than week-end nights.

  2. Although he is a wonderful pianist, Jeremy Denk is not really a household name when it comes to playing Bach. I would bet that somebody like Andras Schiff would have drawn a much bigger crowd.

  3. Symphony Hall is hardly an ideal place for a piano recital. A more intimate venue (like Conrad Preby's Hall at UCSD and most likely the new hall being built in la Jolla) would have probably been more appealing.

And finally the major reason at least as far as I am concerned: The Goldberg Variations are not a piece for piano and work way better IMHO on a harpsichord. I would have rushed to hear somebody like Pierre Hantai or Kenneth Weiss perform them, and I would have killed to hear Mr Denk perform Beethoven or Schubert but I confess to be way less interested in his Bach and especially the GV.

Jan. 29, 2016

Yes to all of those and I might add people just not knowing about it.

Feb. 1, 2016

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close