Music, Musings, and the Space Between the Notes

Gwendolyn Masin by Martin Moell Gwendolyn Masin

| #Writing, #Connectedness, #Music

On Honesty and Art (3-minute read)

For decades now, I have heard it said that interest in classical music is on the decline, to have lost its importance and popularity, to no longer be “useful”. In 2012, the National Endowment for the Arts (USA) reported that in that year, only 8.8% of the population had attended a classical music concert. My interest was piqued by these statistics, so I did a bit of my own digging. When I asked friends what they thought about classical music, apart from positive things, they felt that classical music was elitist, academic, dull, uninspired, a status symbol as opposed to an art form. Or, I found this one amusing — “too long.” Too long for what? “Just — too long!"

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Gwendolynmasin and ysaye saint gervais Gwendolyn Masin

| #Writing, #Connectedness, #Music

The Fifth Element (3-minute read)

Recently, while running errands with my son, we passed a shoe store and my son unexpectedly stopped to look into the window. This is unusual for him because he has just begun to walk and explore the concept of forward motion. And so, he is usually running on his tiptoes, shrieking in delight at his own locomotion. My son is of a very sunny nature. He is cheerful, curious, fun, and very present. This latter trait forces me to drop everything and be just as present as he is. What he is not, is someone who stops in his tracks to look at something, whilst processing an impression that he can’t apprehend yet.

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Gwendolyn front door Bern Gwendolyn Masin

| #Covid, #Writing, #Connectedness, #Music

Earplugs In a Coat (3-minute read)

As I was leaving the house, I grabbed my coat. The weather seemed undecided. It reminded me of Ireland, of home, four seasons in the space of an hour. I stepped onto the pavement and the door swung closed behind me. I sunk my hand into one of my coat pockets to deposit my house keys then rooted around and felt something way down in there. It was a pair of earplugs.

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TZ 20140314 122 1 Gwendolyn Masin by Zoltan Tuba cropped Gwendolyn Masin

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The 9 second rule v. the slow burn (4-minute read)

When an aspiring singer and the 19-year-old daughter of a musician friend of mine mentioned that she had never spent a penny on music in her entire life, I stopped what I was doing to listen. She quickly followed with the remark that she rarely listens to any song for more than 9 seconds unless its “really really good”. Her remark released a murmuration. I considered 9 seconds. Is it really possible to recognise a song and pass judgement on it in just 9 seconds?

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Gwendolyn_by_Maximilian_Lederer Gwendolyn Masin

| #Covid, #Writing, #Welcome to My Sand Pit, #Why, #Connectedness, #Music

Why Now? (3-minute read)

13 March 2020: I remember standing on a street corner in a neighbourhood of Zurich with Lukas Bärfuss. The day had started off bright and sunny, and we had spent it working out details of a new collaboration. When it was time for me to return home, he accompanied me to the tram stop to make sure I caught the correct connection. We then noticed a never-ending stream of people walking, all in the same down-hill direction, all heading home to begin lockdown.

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Gwendolyn en Vera Gwendolyn Masin

| #Covid, #Private Recordings, #Non-commercial, #Rehearsal, #Unedited, #Music

Beethoven Kreutzer Sonata, second movement

The first sounds after the most recent lockdown. An atelier on the other side of town. In it, an untuned piano, audience chairs stacked and dusty after a year of hibernation. An unedited rendition, not perfect in its delivery, but full of love and gratitude to make music with another musician after such a long time of separation. My playing is raw, in service to Beethoven and Vera, the pianist performing here. Full of love, and commitment, in resonance with one another, holding on to belief in music and people - that is what I feel we can and should offer music, our audiences, and ourselves. Beethoven Kreutzer Sonata, second movement, played with Vera Kooper in a music space in Biel, Switzerland on 13 March, exactly one year after my family and I went into lockdown.

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