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Topic: How Does Your Music Compare to your Life -Kurt Vonnegut Perspective

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  1. #1
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    How Does Your Music Compare to your Life -Kurt Vonnegut Perspective

    There was an interesting article about a Kurt Vonnegut talk about writing, life, and everything.

    The author said that people have a need for drama in their life. “People have been hearing fantastic stories since time began. The problem is, they think life is supposed to be like the stories. Let's look at a few examples.”

    Time moves from left to right. Happiness from bottom to top.






    “Let's look at a very common story arc. The story of Cinderella.”


    It starts with her awful life with evil stepsisters, scrubbing the fireplace. Then she get an invitation to the ball! Things look up. Then the fairy godmother makes her a dress and a coach. Even better! Then she goes to the ball, and dances with the prince! This is great! But then it's midnight. She has to go. Oh no. Sadness. Back to her humdrum life scrubbing the fireplace. But it's not as bad as before, because she's had this encouraging experience. Then, the prince finds her, and the happiness factor is off the chart! Happily ever after.
    Now let's look at another popular story arc: the disaster.


    It's an ordinary day in an ordinary town. But something horrible happens! A child falls down a well! The whole town gathers to save her. Old grudges surface, but are belittled in the light of this tragedy. Rifts are bonded as people work together. The child is saved, and all is well. But notice it's a little better than it was before, now that this incident has brought them all closer together.
    But the problem is, life is really like this...




    "Our lives drifts along with normal things happening. Some ups, some downs, but nothing to go down in history about. Nothing so fantastic or terrible that it'll be told for a thousand years.

    But because we grew up surrounded by big dramatic story arcs in books and movies, we think our lives are supposed to be filled with huge ups and downs! So people pretend there is drama where there is none.

    That's why people invent fights. That's why we're drawn to sports. That's why we act like everything that happens to us is such a big deal."
    ...

    It seems much music is based on these curves, going through conflict, tension and release,dramatic highs and lows - which make music more interesting.

    Just as in stories, people respond to ups and down in music even though daily life may be a bit flat. Good music, like a good story, seems to elevate people.

    How does your music compare to your life?

    ~Gary

  2. #2
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Re: Kurt Vonnegut - Drama and the Ups and Downs of Music

    How does your music compare to your life?

    ~Gary
    Well, let's see .................. Ups came today and brought back my LCD monitor that was sent out to be repaired. I guess maybe that's why they call it UPS?

    AnywhichwaybutWHO? My life was ________________________ until I was introduced to GPO. Now, I can really say there have been more UPS than DOWNS with me music especially lately. (No, I don't mean Chelsea Lately). However, just this past eveningk I had a premonition that a major change is about to happen to one of us on this forum in the form of a very UP experience.

    Now ... back to Beatles Rock Band.
    Styxx

  3. #3

    Re: Kurt Vonnegut - Drama and the Ups and Downs of Music

    Really interesting post, Gary - Thought provoking stuff from a great writer. Wasn't Vonnegut just one of a kind? Yes indeed.

    "...How does your music compare to your life?..."

    Art is to illuminate life. Even if we believe life is totally random and that chaos is the true order of the universe, when we engage ourselves with the artistic output of writers, painters, musicians, actors, film makers, dancers - we at least momentarily see new meaning in everything through that microcosmic focusing lens of the artist.

    In other words, regardless of our philosophies, we all enjoy the possibilities that Art can present us. It makes us more able to live without thinking that life is some drab flat line between misery and ecstasy. People who feel cut off from Art, who don't create Art for themselves are the people stirring up drama in bar room fights, meaningless squabbles with clerks in stores - they Do want to heighten the color and drama in their lives but have found negative ways to fulfill that need instead of positive ones.

    I can't imagine life without Art. And to more directly answer your question, my music is the closest I can come to expressing my inner life.

    Without Art, life wouldn't be much different from the purely instinctual lives that animals lead.

    Quoting Oscar Wilde - a line from his novel, "Dorian Gray" which is included in my adaptation:

    "I love acting. It's so much more real than life."
    And though that's amusing, it also makes philosophical sense. Acting coupled with great writing can strip away the superfluous and redundant and reveal the human condition more vividly than could ever be seen by observing life directly.

    Randy

  4. #4

    Re: How Does Your Music Compare to your Life -Kurt Vonnegut Perspective

    Great foot for thinking, thank you Gary.
    All your strings belong to me!
    www.strings-on-demand.com

  5. #5

    Re: How Does Your Music Compare to your Life -Kurt Vonnegut Perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by Hannes_F View Post
    Great foot for thinking, thank you Gary.
    You're right, Hannes. And here are some more feet to think about.



    Randy

  6. #6

    Re: How Does Your Music Compare to your Life -Kurt Vonnegut Perspective

    Hahaha!
    All your strings belong to me!
    www.strings-on-demand.com

  7. #7

    Re: How Does Your Music Compare to your Life -Kurt Vonnegut Perspective

    "Our lives drifts along with normal things happening. Some ups, some downs, but nothing to go down in history about. Nothing so fantastic or terrible that it'll be told for a thousand years.

    But because we grew up surrounded by big dramatic story arcs in books and movies, we think our lives are supposed to be filled with huge ups and downs! So people pretend there is drama where there is none".

    Maybe Vonnegut's wrong there. Its true that most events from most peoples lives wont be remembered several years from now - but that doesn't lessen the everyday heroism of people just going about their lives.

    Just the fact of birth in itself, the battle for our own minds in the midst of this great mystery about us, and eventually being ground back into the dust we came from - well, thats a pretty dramatic story in itself, when you think about it.

    You just have to zoom out far enough, so you're seeing things besides paying your phone bill and doing the vacuuming.

    Music for me is all about zooming out, and how it relates to the 'everyday'.

  8. #8

    Re: How Does Your Music Compare to your Life -Kurt Vonnegut Perspective

    My music is usually dissonant and aggressive.

    I seriously hope that my life is not that.

    I would say that my own experience and theory (crap theory but anyhow) is that it's actually the opposite: I've been always composing what I couldn't play, or listen, or couldn't find. This is why I started composing in the age of 6-7. Pieces in piano sucked and wanted to play something 'better', so I composed my pieces instead. So, since I'm not really aggressive in real life, maybe I wish I was (never been in a fight), so I'm getting all the aggression out in my music.

  9. #9

    Re: How Does Your Music Compare to your Life -Kurt Vonnegut Perspective

    Cinderella`s life <=> Gunther`s life.

    I earn my money with my writing and playing since 30 years. There were many ups and downs, but I like all my steps I did.

    All what I can say is that I do not live for the money. Otherwise I would be a millionaire now.

    Gunther
    "Music is the shorthand of emotion." Leo Tolstoy

    Listen to me, tuning my triangle http://www.box.net/shared/ae822u6r3i

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