I recently was reflecting on my listening experience when several questions came to mind. 1. If I had to pick one track out of all the music I own (or even that I may not own, but know exists), which one best represents… me? 2. What music do I choose to play for people, as a favorite? 3. Why would I choose this music (#2)? 4. What deeply intellectual things could I discuss with another music fan about the said music (#1, #2, or some other piece)? 5. Would I derive pleasure from such a discussion about a particular piece of music, or perhaps a performer, or a live performance? Despite my love for music, I rarely engage in conversations about it. And at some level, I find this ever so slightly sad, considering I have a lot of opinions and thoughts about this class of art. Part of these thoughts have come about from listening to Glenn Gould speak of music, in the aforementioned set of Bach that was just released earlier this fall. Yes, I wondered what it would have been like to talk to Gould about some Bach… Then this past Sunday (yesterday), I put on Renée Jacobs conducting Mozart's Jupiter symphony with the Freiburg Barockorchester, and put myself in a wholly different mindset. There was so much I wanted to pull-apart, to make louder, or to simply change about what otherwise is a very fine interpretation. I knew my conducting was up to the task, but the interpretation would have been considerably rustic, probably to the point of it being frowned upon by the masses who still care about Mozart. For one, there should always be "more horns." Something like more cowbell, but with French horns. The likelihood of me conducting the likes of the Freiburg ensemble are next to nothing at this point. So, realistically speaking, how can I fulfill this dream role I had for myself, to actually have a go at creating my own interpretation? Gould spoke in an interview of one day seeing fans of music (on record) being able to turn dials to customize the performance to their liking. In a sense, he saw them as a musical interpreters through the use of technology. He had the vision. My guess is my best bet might be divided equally between two possible vectors: 1. I pay a professional orchestra for the privledge of conducting. It's been done before, even to great acclaim. 2. I use a computer to "perform" the work, by shaping the sound of each note, each instrument, to my liking. This would be a time-intensive task, but it could be interesting. And of course, I wouldn't have to stick with the composer's instrumentation. But I digress. This was supposed to be about questions. 1. If I had to pick one track out of all the music I own (or even that I may not own, but know exists), which one best represents… me? At this point in time, I'd choose a track from the Goat Rodeo Sessions by Yo-Yo Ma. It's entitled Less is Moi. 2. What music do I choose to play for people, as a favorite? There are probably too many to list, but if I was entertaining a fan of Baroque music, I'd choose Meister's Garden of the Fisherman. There's a lot of depth in that piece, especially the first ones on the recording by Musica Antiqua, Köln. 3. Why would I choose this music (#2)? It's unknown, and by that nature, it's under-appreciated. I'd love to discuss if someone else has the same reaction to the music as did I; and since it's not universally-accepted, what about it, really, makes it successful? 4. What deeply intellectual things could I discuss with another music fan about the said music (#1, #2, or some other piece)? There are certain pieces that all resonate with us; perhaps not universally, but so much of the music in the so-called canon of classical music is there because it's had the ability to reach people en masse. I am not sure the discussion would be intellectual, but I'd relish in the opportunity to discuss what makes it work for one or more people. And can we see that? Detect it? Predict it? 5. Would I derive pleasure from such a discussion about a particular piece of music, or perhaps a performer, or a live performance? I think so. Performing the music would be even better. It is no different than discussing art, a just-watched movie, or some other shared, aesthetic experience. The nature of the work, and our love for it, can translate into a related enjoyable experience. I think this is especially so with live music, and one of the reasons I lament that in so many live performances we cannot engage in discussion with the performers.