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David Elias - The Art of Listening

07-15-2020 | By David Elias | Issue 110

Bach vs Beck…is it all just Nature's Noise?

I am listening to both Bach then Beck on Spotify and noticed they had a similar 5 million listening audience for the month. What else do these guys have in common? To start they both wrote music for infinite audiences. This is something Beck no doubt always knew and Bach probably knew as well, just assuming there were multiple Bach performing ensembles and orchestras in his day that he was aware of, all playing to their own audiences.

Both composers had fans, comprised of the yaysayers and naysayers. But who were the composers trying to please if anyone but themselves? Their works are presented as complex arrangements with artistic messages and signatures. Who are these messages and signatures intended for? For that matter, what are the differences between these types of messages and signatures and those of a tropical storm across the Hawaiian Pacific Ocean? I say that no one can say for sure.

As a listener I am inclined to assign anonymity to both playlist recording sources, meaning they could be written and performed by anyone, even the same person. I first heard Bach on vinyl some 30 years before ever hearing Beck. Bach arrived on the scene (Earth) 285 years before Beck. Will there still be Pacific rains to listen to 285 years from now, let alone Bach or Beck churning the ether for some millions (billions?) of ears each month?

No one can say for sure.

Listening to anything artistic beats making noise every time. That's what I say.

Wishing you all Aloha & Good Health…

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