Saturday, August 25, 2012

Merci, Muriel

There is a designer named Muriel Grateau and I salute her for what she says in this morning's Wall Street Journal. That is Madame Grateau pictured above. She is very Parisian and uncompromising!

"I don't listen to music when I work," she says. "Listening to music is an occupation in itself, and it would distract me too much to have it in the background."

That is what I think too.

There is this casual attitude everywhere toward music. I think it comes from having it instantly accessible on the radio, in the car, in stores, wherever you go. Also pop music drives the trend. Just the words they use. Tunes. Shuffle. My little brother George was laughing at the Shuffle concept. He said, these songs are so silly, so disposable, that it doesn't matter which one you hear when.

Sometimes you get terribly weird situations!

Once I was in a meeting, outside the office. I had my notebook on my lap. Something was distracting me and I did not know what. Then I realized it was very faint music, almost inaudible, trickling from a radio.

The music was so soft I could not make it out. But something in my subconscious was sure making it out because I kept focusing on it, even while I was listening to people talking and writing in my notebook. Whatever this trickle was, my mind could not tune it out.

All of a sudden, like a ghost, the music took shape and I heard what it was.

It was the slow movement of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony!

Trickling, ignored, from this radio!

That is why I do not like things like this programmed for 10 a.m., you know? Because people who do not know the difference will subject you to it. It drives me crazy.

And yes, like my new friend Muriel, I generally cannot listen to it while I work because I just end up sitting there. And that's as it should be.

Music should be celebrated, not used as wallpaper.

Merci, Muriel!

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