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get it? ... got it ... good

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  • frednow@aol.com
    ... Getting it and enjoying it are certainly not mutually exclusive. There s a pervasive cultural misperception that intellectual concerns are somehow
    Message 1 of 7 , Jan 30, 2005
      jazzqueen51@... wrote:

      >>I am not
      >>one who tries to intellectualize what I hear. I'm not trying to 'get it' only
      >>wanting to enjoy it :).



      "Getting it" and "enjoying it" are certainly not mutually exclusive.

      There's a pervasive cultural misperception that intellectual concerns are somehow antithetical to art, beauty, magic, emotion, enjoyment, etc., ipso facto. I will never get used to this baffling view, which seemingly pervades American culture, even politically, as evidenced by the recent popular media savaging of John Kerry as "French" and "brainy" ... apparently half the population likes their president uncultured, semi-educated, and non-intellectual). This very much ties into why Pat and Lyle consider The Way Up to be a work of protest.

      Now, before anyone's hackles are raised too high, I do realize I'm going off on a tangent here, which, I want to stress, is not directed personally at Chellie. I don't want to assert that she (he?) is semi-educated or uncultured; this is just well-meaning debate. But there is a connecting thread, because a lot of folks, maybe even the majority of them, seem to hold a similar attitude.

      No one's response to that anti-intellectual misperception is more satisfying than that of physicist Richard Feynman, which I've quoted here before:

      <<I have a friend who's an artist, and he sometimes takes a view which I don't agree with. He'll hold up a flower and say, "Look how beautiful it is," and I'll agree. But then he'll say, "I, as an artist, can see how beautiful a flower is. But you, as a scientist, take it all apart and it becomes dull." I think he's kind of nutty.

      First of all, the beauty that he sees is available to other people--and to me, too, I believe. Although I might not be quite as refined aesthetically as he is, I can appreciate the beauty of a flower. But at the same time, I see much more in the flower than he sees. I can imagine the cells inside, which also have a beauty. There's beauty not just at the dimension of one centimeter; there's also beauty at a smaller dimension.

      There are the complicated actions of the cells, and other processes. The fact that the colors in the flower have evolved in order to attract insects to pollinate it is interesting; that means insects can see the colors. That adds a question: does this aesthetic sense we have also exist in lower forms of life? There are all kinds of interesting questions that come from a knowledge of science, which only adds to the excitement and mystery and awe of a flower. It only adds. I don't understand how it subtracts."

      I, too, don't understand how it subtracts.

      -Fred
    • John Whatley
      Ah, more political preaching on the music list!! There s the cue...everybody pile on, kids! America is so bad. It is dumb. Just ask Lyle. Our culture is so
      Message 2 of 7 , Jan 30, 2005
        Ah, more political preaching on the music list!!
        There's the cue...everybody pile on, kids!

        America is so bad. It is dumb. Just ask Lyle. Our culture is so
        much worse than in the "good ol days," or in the rest of the world
        These must be the dark ages. (Um, anybody remember Disco??) If
        only everybody were as enlightened as we jazz people are. The
        population who voted for Bush surely must want everything dumb and
        bad. Thank GOD (no, make that thank "our lucky stars") that Pat and
        Lyle were able to so "courageously" put out such a biting protest
        record.

        Good lord. I just dont get it. I cant seem to find a way to get so
        down and depressed about my neighbors and myself. I missed
        the "popular media" "savaging" John Kerry, Fred. But I was only
        watching CNN, CBS, ABC, and NBC, and reading 3 or 4 major national
        and international newspapers. I didnt see very much anti-Kerry bias
        from the media itself, but sure did catch all the Bush-bashing which
        continues. So be it. I'm not a Bush fan, if you can believe it.

        Being depressed about the current state of things is the major
        pastime in American culture these days (despite the worldwide
        economic recovery, less poverty worldwide, less pollution worldwide,
        outpourings of cooperation for Tsunami victims, the imprisonment of
        Saddam, the first free election in 40+ years in Iraq, and a great
        new release from the PMG, which happens to feature two Americans as
        the major creators. Dang, how did THAT happen?? I thought
        Americans were dumb, and the culture was dead. I guess those 2
        snuck by the doom and gloom patrol.)

        Pile on. I'm American. I deserve it.

        Now...
        Nobody can beat a new release to death like me, and I have listened
        to The Way Up a bazillion times (I counted), and I really really
        like it. I only kinda liked it at first, and then thought, "is that
        all there is?", and then as it has seeped into my brain throughout
        this snowy weekend I have found I really love it. That little space-
        sounding keyboard sound from Lyle on one theme in part 3 reminds me
        of that great French band, Air. I love that...and more.

        I know I am not smart enough to "get it" as fully as I should yet,
        but I sure do love it. And I really am interested in all
        that "brainy" stuff that got put down recently. :-) (On that, I
        agree with Fred. Great quote from Feynman.)

        Call me Britney, but I just cannot see any bit of protest in this
        record whatsoever. But then I really dont hate the world all that
        much, so I'm not that pissed. (My world is bigger than the media,
        by the way.) It seems like a great piece of music that touches
        elements of many past PMG albums. Also borrows strongly from
        Eberhard Weber, and Philip Glass TO ME. So what if it is long? Is
        that the protest? Even though the record company put it right on
        out? Protesting who, again? Is it overly complex? Is that the
        protest? There's lots of more complex music released. Is it
        nuanced? Ditto for that. Lots of quiet space that takes time to
        unfold and really make an impact. Is that the protest? Ok.
        There's less of that quiet reflection in my life now with kids and
        jobs and responsibilities, but I STILL make time for it with music
        like this, among other things.

        I'm not sure the "courage" it took to make the record measures up to
        that of the soldiers and voters in Iraq, for example, but I do see
        the beauty. And that's what I'm after anyway.

        Dumb as a bag of hammers,
        John in Asheville (backwater, USA)
      • Paula Kirsch
        ... that of the soldiers and voters in Iraq, for example, but I do see the beauty. And that s what I m after anyway. Dumb as a bag of hammers, John in
        Message 3 of 7 , Jan 30, 2005
          >>I'm not sure the "courage" it took to make the record measures up to
          that of the soldiers and voters in Iraq, for example, but I do see
          the beauty. And that's what I'm after anyway.

          Dumb as a bag of hammers,
          John in Asheville (backwater, USA)
          <<

          Holy Cow, it's MUSIC!!! Enjoy it or not, but it's not life and death,
          it's just music........

          P.
        • rbslscpa@aol.com
          John (Dumb as a bag of hammers) You are the Man!!!!. I could not have said it better. I have not read a post so much to my liking in months. It really needed
          Message 4 of 7 , Jan 30, 2005
            John (Dumb as a bag of hammers)

            You are the Man!!!!. I could not have said it better. I have not read a post so much to my liking in months. It really needed to be said, so thank you. By the way i am pleased Pat and the boys can make their "statements" both musical and otherwise and are kind enough to let us participate in the exchange of ideas.

            I for one LOVE TWU, but it took some dedicated time. For me the protest is the artist asking of us to take some time to appreciate art. I took the time to listen on Jan 29, 2005. By the time part 3 rolled around the journey of tension and release, slow and fast, simple and complex, loud and soft, etc.... came to a gradual end and the destination was just where i wanted to be. Wow what a composition. My boys love it too. (age 7 & 10)

            Anyway it seems like Pat and the boys can at least sell the thing, when i checked Amazon TWU was at #5 right behind U-2 and three movie sound-tracks. Very respectable for a public that is so dumb :-). My family and 4 guests will be seeing Pat March 1, in Davis, CA. I can hardly wait. I am really curious how it will play out Live. Our good friends in Norway have bought their tickets for Oslo. It will be the first PMG concert for them so i am also curious what their reaction will be.

            John, like you i see the beauty of this record as well and i am so pleased to have these artist share their gifts with us.

            Reg Scarbrough (25 year fan)
          • goosenberg@comcast.net
            I m in the part of this list of fans whose ego enjoys (over?) intellectuallizing the music long past the time that my id just enjoys it. As has often been the
            Message 5 of 7 , Jan 30, 2005
              I'm in the part of this list of fans whose ego enjoys (over?) intellectuallizing the music long past the time that my id just enjoys it. As has often been the case with the group's extended pieces, the joy of repeated listenings comes from suddenly hearing a reminder of an earlier theme toward the end of the piece, but hearing it differently or combined with other themes that don't appear until later.

              This is the type of thematic development that makes me want to listen to The Way Up over and over, just as I did with Mozart's Jupiter Symphony (#41) where the 4th movement magically combines several themes that were brilliant on their own, with the result being something compositionally very complex but incredibly beautiful to the ear. Classical composers often did this, as did some of the progressive rockers of the 70s, including Yes, Genesis and my favorite Gentle Giant, and I still love their music so many years later.

              Rick

              ----- Original Message -----
              From: rbslscpa@...
              To: pat-metheny2@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Sunday, January 30, 2005 9:02 PM
              Subject: Re: [pmg2] Re: get it? ... got it ... good


              John (Dumb as a bag of hammers)

              You are the Man!!!!. I could not have said it better. I have not read a post so much to my liking in months. It really needed to be said, so thank you. By the way i am pleased Pat and the boys can make their "statements" both musical and otherwise and are kind enough to let us participate in the exchange of ideas.

              I for one LOVE TWU, but it took some dedicated time. For me the protest is the artist asking of us to take some time to appreciate art.

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Bob Baker
              I didn t like Part 3 much at all until the third listen, when I picked up on the three themes combining into one sweet 8-bar resolve about mid-way through.
              Message 6 of 7 , Jan 30, 2005
                I didn't like Part 3 much at all until the third listen, when I
                picked up on the three themes combining into one sweet
                8-bar resolve about mid-way through. Somebody complained
                earlier about the 'banal 8-bar ditty'. I just happen to think
                there's more to it when it's altered into other keys, tempos,
                and motifs and on different instruments several times
                throughout the 68:10. Someone will probably do a thesis on
                finding these gems throughout the piece, I am sure. It will be
                extremely analytical, but interesting. Then, again, except for
                one very loud and garish section of Part 2, I like the entire CD.
                That's not always the case for me with PMG, where I typically
                find one 'reach for the track skip button' track.

                Cheers.

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                From: goosenberg@... [mailto:goosenberg@...]
                Sent: Sunday, January 30, 2005 9:43 PM
                To: pat-metheny2@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [pmg2] Re: get it? ... got it ... good


                I'm in the part of this list of fans whose ego enjoys (over?)
                intellectuallizing the music long past the time that my id just enjoys it. As
                has often been the case with the group's extended pieces, the joy of repeated
                listenings comes from suddenly hearing a reminder of an earlier theme toward
                the end of the piece, but hearing it differently or combined with other themes
                that don't appear until later.

                This is the type of thematic development that makes me want to listen to The
                Way Up over and over, just as I did with Mozart's Jupiter Symphony (#41) where
                the 4th movement magically combines several themes that were brilliant on their
                own, with the result being something compositionally very complex but
                incredibly beautiful to the ear. Classical composers often did this, as did
                some of the progressive rockers of the 70s, including Yes, Genesis and my
                favorite Gentle Giant, and I still love their music so many years later.

                Rick

                ----- Original Message -----
                From: rbslscpa@...
                To: pat-metheny2@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Sunday, January 30, 2005 9:02 PM
                Subject: Re: [pmg2] Re: get it? ... got it ... good


                John (Dumb as a bag of hammers)

                You are the Man!!!!. I could not have said it better. I have not read a post
                so much to my liking in months. It really needed to be said, so thank you. By
                the way i am pleased Pat and the boys can make their "statements" both musical
                and otherwise and are kind enough to let us participate in the exchange of
                ideas.

                I for one LOVE TWU, but it took some dedicated time. For me the protest is
                the artist asking of us to take some time to appreciate art.

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • chrissterritt
                Hello, ... Hear, hear. ... First of all, I wonder if this is the same guy who taught Feynman to draw and paint. Second, along these lines I *really* like the
                Message 7 of 7 , Feb 1, 2005
                  Hello,

                  Fred wrote:
                  > There's a pervasive cultural misperception that intellectual
                  > concerns are somehow antithetical to art, beauty, magic, emotion,
                  > enjoyment, etc., ipso facto. I will never get used to this baffling
                  > view,

                  Hear, hear.


                  > No one's response to that anti-intellectual misperception is more
                  > satisfying than that of physicist Richard Feynman, which I've quoted
                  > here before:
                  >
                  > <<I have a friend who's an artist, and he sometimes takes a view
                  > which I don't agree with.

                  First of all, I wonder if this is the same guy who taught Feynman to
                  draw and paint.


                  Second, along these lines I *really* like the following Marvin Minsky
                  quote:

                  "I cannot articulate enough to express my dislike to people who think
                  that understanding spoils your experience... How would they know?"


                  (Minsky, for those who don't know him, has long been a teacher and
                  artificial intelligence researcher at MIT).

                  --chris sterritt
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