Maestro Ling will conduct the Mt. Everest of symphonies.
  • Maestro Ling will conduct the Mt. Everest of symphonies.
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Have you ever taken a moment to ask yourself, “What the hell are we all doing?” It’s a legitimate question. What are we all doing and who decided gold is valuable? Every morning when we wake up and go to wherever it is that we go, what is the purpose? To keep the economy going? To what end?

Video:

"Magic Moments"

...Perry Como

...Perry Como

Yes, I’m doing the “What does it all mean?” thing. So far as I can tell, the one thing we can all bank on is that we will have what could be called a “peak experience” at some point. We will take this experience and allow it to give our lives meaning.

All those hours of work that can feel so meaningless are worth the price of a peak experience. Peak experiences don’t need to cost money but by and large the most accessible ones do. Almost every commercial you have ever seen is selling an experience. I’m looking at you Disneyland and Lexus.

Video:

Maslow

...on peak experiences

...on peak experiences

The birth of a child is always right up there on the list of peak experiences but so too is the psychedelic experience and — I would imagine — a successful act of violence by the member of a group that considers itself to be fighting oppression. The point is that a peak experience is not the property of any given system or belief.

Back in church camp this peak experience was called a “mountain top” experience. It was a real thing. We were cautioned about going back down into the valley and completely abandoning our newfound best friend. No, not the girl from Brentwood, CA with whom I shared the innocence of a first kiss on a midnight hike through the redwoods of Northern California.

Video:

Bruckner's Symphony No. 8

...Mehta conducting Berliner Philharmoniker

...Mehta conducting Berliner Philharmoniker

Of course, our new best friend was Jesus and Jesus can deliver when it comes to mountain top experiences. Although, the kiss is really what I remember most. I take that back. The next day is what I remember most as we taught each other how to kiss.

That we have memories of these peak experiences is a happy legacy. “Making memories” is not why we do anything, so far as I’m concerned.

We do something or go somewhere in order to have the experience. We might recall the experience and try to share it, but invariably our narrative boils down to a lame mumbling of, “You really had to be there.”

What am I driving at here regarding classical music? Music is a prime mover when it comes to peak experiences and there is a mountaintop experience which is looming in March.

Yes, March. Too early? No.

I’m speaking of Maestro Ling and the San Diego Symphony performing Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8. It’s been 20-some years since I drove/willed my 1965 Chevy Bel Air station wagon — sans driver’s side window, floor boards, and any type of exhaust system — up to Los Angeles to hear Zubin Mehta conduct this alpine yeti of a symphony.

It was a peak experience.

Little did I know at the time that there would be such a gap between live performances. I’m primed for another peak experience so forgive my anticipation. This has been on my mind since the season was announced last year.

So help me God if the house is half full because San Diego “patrons” are scared of Bruckner...

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