'And like they say in the East, things have meaning outside the labels or descriptions you might give them. We've got to be conscious of that space. So words should not really be endpoints, but work best as doorways to understanding' - Robert LaxA comment on Classical music must move to the edge of the network asking What exactly is the edge? reminded me of the wise thoughts above. As for words, so for classical music; which too should not be an endpoint, but rather a door to understanding. Classical music can only open that door if it returns to the space at the edge of the network. Because the centre is filled to bursting point with celebrity musicians, entertainment envy, over-paid radio presenters, commercial intermediaries, wunderkind, rock music executives, ethically tainted music festivals, dumbing down, cultural commentators, low-res audio files, Lamborghinis, classical charts, pop-up restaurants, reality TV, avaricious agents, embedded journalists, social media addiction, unethical sponsors, greed, vertical integration, anniversary tat, condescending classics, saviours, PR agencies, experts, composer anniversaries and other fashionable space wasters.
These big new ideas are part of the problem, not the solution. All classical music needs is the space in which to surprise, delight, challenge and enlighten, and it can learn a lot from my featured double CD. Improviser, composer, world music explorer and bansuri virtuoso Manuel Hermia has recorded a double CD titled The Whisper of the Orient on which Indian ragas, Arabic maqâms and Oriental styles are explored by an international cast of guest musicians. As Manuel Hermia says in the accompanying notes:
"Whereas over centuries, the West has produced the basis for a philosophy developed for reason and managed by it, the East has excelled in philosophical approaches whose wisdom comes from nothing more than the silence of the mind."Classcial music's problem is quite simple: it is shouting so loud that people can't hear what it is saying. It can only find that essential silence by returning to the space at the edge of the network.
Header quote is from The Way of the Dreamcatcher: Spirit Lessons with Robert Lax by S.T. Georgiou. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). No review samples were used in the post. Also on Facebook and Twitter.