Excursions

by Amit Gawande

If a great musician plays great music but no one hears, was he really any good?

Interesting read this about an experiment involving Joshua Bell. You feel for him when we says this:

With “Chaconne,” the opening is filled with a building sense of awe. That kept him busy for a while. Eventually, though, he began to steal a sidelong glance. "It was a strange feeling, that people were actually, ah …" The word doesn’t come easily. "… ignoring me.”

What is even more puzzling though is this thought from Mark Leithauser.

"Let’s say I took one of our more abstract masterpieces, say an Ellsworth Kelly, and removed it from its frame, marched it down the 52 steps that people walk up to get to the National Gallery, past the giant columns, and brought it into a restaurant. It’s a $5 million painting. And it’s one of those restaurants where there are pieces of original art for sale, by some industrious kids from the Corcoran School, and I hang that Kelly on the wall with a price tag of $150. No one is going to notice it. An art curator might look up and say: ‘Hey, that looks a little like an Ellsworth Kelly. Please pass the salt.’"

So life-less we have become. Or were we always like this?


If a great musician plays great music but no one hears, was he really any good?