i'm trying to squeeze as much of avignon as i can into the little time remaining. something i've done a bunch here is going to see classical music. i was dabbling with it some in portland before i left, but it feels really natural here. maybe it's living next to the bourgeois ladies. probably moreso the ancient european setting. the same thing wouldn't feel the same in portland so i have to get it out of my system now.
i was raised in the public school music program, so i had a little history to go on. mostly it counted for getting my ears prepped to receive the music some time in the future. i'm actually paying attention to it now, and learning what i like and hate. interesting to see what's changed over time. it's nice to focus on the traditional aspects of composition and performance for a change. stuff my ears haven't been excercised in in a long time. you have to listen for different things and you can hold everyone to much higher standards in a lot of areas (and relax them in some others).
i'm really jazzed on art that can't be done properly unless you've been at it for thirty years. material that you need to have spent lots of time with to get inside, performed by people who have decades of emotional maturity and philosophical development behind them. i guess part of it reflects an ongoing crisis with programming, a general annoyance with the cult of the New Idea, and the desire for good workmanship (which usually falls by the wayside when New Ideas take precedence).
so anyways, brahms' "a german requiem" with two pianists and a choir was saturday night. sunday day was a last run through the calvet museum, which is painting and some sculpture from the 15th to 19th centuries (including the best joke romantic painting i've ever seen*). sunday evening was a string trio alternating with pipe organ doing a mix of bach and mozart in avignon's snazziest church. boy, that's enough for me for a while. i had to come home and play some 30 second long punk songs to clear my mind.
*long setup: joseph vernet was a famous local painter known for his romantic period canvases of epic scenes of nature destroying man. our street, the same one the calvet museum is on, is named after him. his son took up his father's style and has a large scene of a small sailboat getting tossed around in a pounding sea, about to founder on the rocks. very menacing. there's a couple people on board: one guy at the tiller losing his hat in the gale, a bare-bosomed woman just looking wretched, and a dude with a small notepad and brush tied to the mast. the title reads "joseph vernet studying firsthand the effects of nature." hah!