Sunday Serendipity

Back when I took that music appreciation course in college the teacher was never able to answer the question of why we should value the arts. I’ve never seen it properly answered, it usually ends up being a long winded “Because” statement.

IMO, todays selection goes a long way toward answering that question. It is a classical form, influenced by Jazz, an American art form that blends African and European musical traditions composed by a grandson of a Ukrainian Jew, with a piano solo performed by a young woman from China, backed up with an orchestra from Austria.

It is a demonstration of the world as it should be, rather than the one we see in the bombed out neighborhoods in Mariupol.

Enjoy, Jack

Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin

Performed by Camerata Salzburg

Yuja Wang on piano


24 thoughts on “Sunday Serendipity”

  1. thanks, jack, well said intro.  too bad nowadays such sentiments and music like that don’t get more play.

  2. speaking of liberté, égalité, and fraternité

    2022 French Presidential Runoff Election: Live Updates – The New York Times (

    No matter the outcome, the election will have profound consequences well beyond France at a time when the United States and its European allies are locked in a precarious standoff with Russia over its war in Ukraine.
    Mr. Macron has tried to engage President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, but has been a dependable part of a united front against the Kremlin. A victory for Ms. Le Pen, long sympathetic to Moscow and indebted for millions to a Russian bank, would no doubt be a victory for Mr. Putin, handing him his most important ally in his quest to weaken the European Union and divide NATO.

  3. Why the French election matters so much in US  | The Hill

    “If [Le Pen] won, it would be the first major victory that Vladimir Putin has secured since his forces were checked at the outskirts of Kyiv,” said Ben Judah, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.  
    “It’s a very important election for the U.S.,” he added, saying that a Le Pen victory would swap out Macron’s tested and respected leadership on the European and world stage “for a leader that would be one of the least experienced, least respected and the least trusted.” 
    A Le Pen victory would also signal a rejection of a closer, more integrated European Union (EU), which has played a key role in adopting measures to sanction Russia in lockstep with the U.S., the United Kingdom, and other countries rallied to the cause such as Japan and Australia.  
    “The whole dynamic we’ve seen over the last few decades of the EU consolidating, and becoming more of a kind of single actor, more of a big player on the international scene, that will all go into reverse, from a process of integration to a process of disintegration in Europe,” Judah said. 

  4. Rhapsody in Blue is a big favorite of mine.  A jazz work in its beginning, today it sounds much less so after decades of various jazz styles. 
    The question of why study the arts is one that is politically charged too.  Republicans dislike for anything other than a strict count to ten education is well known.  It is the same question as to why go to college to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree (of course going to college is supposed to be for republican white elites anyway).
    Something I find with the arts is a way to deal with a life spent in working in ones and zeroes as computer person, computer engineer, systems engineer.  I love painting, writing novels (which will never be published), and especially photography.  I am late to the game in learning i am on the Autistic spectrum.  It means nothing more than I now understand why I am who I am.  My “quirks” were not just unusual or “just me”, they were signs of something more.  But as so many things not understood seventy or sixty or fifty years, we now know more. 
    It also means why the arts are important to entire groups of people.  I do think some can express themselves in a complex mathematical formula to solve the question of why water is wet.  But many of us find the arts as a way of showing who we are. When given the freedom to express our inner being there can be a lot of surprises.  Enjoy life once you show your life.

  5. Jack, my answer would be that life in general sucks and art makes it suck a little less. Nice piece BTW. 

  6. In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.

    Friedrich Nietzsche

  7. Truth is ugly. We have art in order not to die of the truth.

    —Friedrich Nietzsche

  8. Jack

    Thank you for today’s lovely choice.

    Arts in American schools has suffered over the past 50 years.  The “Back to Basics” movement has been a destructive force particularly in the public schools.  The days when a child could get a free instrument and the basics of music in an orchestra or band have often disappeared along with multiple languages, creative writing, higher levels of math, and an aggregate of civics and international relations.

    It has been substantially proven that music even when not pursued professionally provides the brain with the ammunition to handle the onslaught of practicalities in life.   

  9. The art of listening to music lies in letting one’s self become so absorbed in it that you’re no longer “listening to the music” but instead your mind roams free, far and wide—you solve problems while under the spell……especially easy to do while in a concert house.  

  10. Jamie – let me add a little more to the use of music.  Many programmers/developers listen to classical music while working.  I have been in shops where the music broadcast throughout was classical.  Some of us like Bach, others are Beethoven, others have their favorites.  And, others listen to heavy metal.  To each their own.

  11. Jack…  splendid!
    What does art mean to me… it means life.  It’s the best of human beings.  I express myself through the use of color…  and I love color so much… that I can feel it…  from the top of my head to the tips of my toes.  
    Some people surround themselves with mass produced store bought stuff….  I surround myself with hand made things.  I don’t have a diamond ring or a coach handbag…  but I do drink my coffee every morning out of a beautifully made pottery mug and place my eggs on a handmade pottery plate while looking at a handmade etched print.

  12. we’re not alone in music appreciation.  a lot of stories and research on how it effects animal behavior.  from cows producing more milk if certain music is played to treating the distressed and abandoned in animal shelters.

    this is one of my favorite examples

    Music for Elephants is a unique and moving documentary about a British concert-pianist playing music to blind, injured and orphaned elephants with extraordinary results.

  13. BB

    My uncle who was and engineer and inventor with air research among many other amazing things in a long and well lived life, came home every evening to his comfortable easy chair where he sat with graph paper and slide rule while listening to classical music.  My love for great music came from that source.  I can’t imagine how much pain it must have cost him when I discovered rock and roll as a 12-year-old, but he bought me a record player for Christmas anyway.  lol

    This is the article I wrote about him shortly following his death:  Meet Donald Dotson 



  14. We had a massive power failure in the Tacoma area for the past six hours. The cause is still to be determined.


  15. Thank goodness, he won…but 42% in France like what’s being done to Ukrainians. 

    jack – Lovely, despite how I feel about the sound of a clarinet, even played by someone with a billion times more skill.

    Two years ago, when the world was locked down, art meant everything, and, so many found that they were makers, too. Humans communicate to connect. Art is communication. Art connects us to different parts of ourselves and to each other.

    I’m trying to rearrange my arts and crafts alcove (aka table-less dining area) so I can set up a home office.
    My living room is lined with stacks of paintings. A couple of favorites are on the wall. More are hanging up in my garage. My acoustic guitar mostly lives in my coat closet, but I get it out from time to time. The clarinet was thrown into a Goodwill bin a decade or so ago. It needed to be re-corked.

    My company is physically downsizing; the new, smaller space won’t be ready before our current lease expires. There is no telling how long we will have to WFH. I have no space for a printer/scanner and boxes of files/paper/supplies. I do not want to do this. I do not want my private time and art space overtaken by work. I’d prefer to be furloughed, again.


    “Today Utah Democrats voted to join Evan McMullin’s cross-partisan coalition and not to nominate a candidate into the 2022 midterm US Senate race,” McMullin’s campaign said in a statement Saturday. “This marks the first time in Utah’s history that the Democratic Party has not put forward a candidate for a statewide race choosing instead to put country over party.”

    “The decision to get behind McMullin could help bolster his Senate bid at a time when Lee is on the defensive over newly revealed text messages showing he communicated for weeks with then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows about the effort to overturn the 2020 election.”

    “McMullin, a former CIA officer and onetime House GOP aide, ran for president in 2016 as an anti-Trump conservative. While he got less than 1% of the popular vote, his candidacy earned about 22% of the vote in Utah, his best showing of any state.”

    “I’m humbled and grateful to the Democratic delegates today for their decision to support this growing cross-partisan coalition,” McMullin said Saturday. “Today, and moving forward, this coalition represents a majority of Utahns who want to replace Senator Mike Lee. He is a threat to the republic and consistently fails to represent our interests and our values.”

  17. Thank god LePen lost. Macron’s line in their debate was masterful – when you’re talking to Putin you’re literally talking to your banker. I love that. 

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