Monday, January 4, 2010

Gypsy swing

2004. Bireli Lagrene. You will realize, when you listen to him, why it did not take me long to understand that this prodigious kid would necessarily become an international star.

Later on he revealed himself capable of understanding a music piece in less time than is required to write it… and he played and plays today with anybody without difficulty. Obviously he never studied music, that is how it is taught in the “Conservatoire”. He does not read partitions for example. He plays everything by ear.

Around 16 years of age he listens to Georges Benson, Jimmy Hendrix, Frank Sinatra, American jazz and he absorbs everything at a phenomenal speed. What is more, he works the violin, the bass... Soon he escapes to the US and plays everywhere with Jaco Pastorius, the most famous virtuoso bassist of the time. At age 24, Biréli has assimilated all American music and jazz. He can play with the best.

He has, for around the last 2 years, started a group which plays the themes of Django. In the group there are gypsies but also the son of… Jacques Dutronc. How long will Biréli stay in this line? Probably not too long, the danger for him being to be completely absorbed, body and soul, and thus to be squelched in a certain sense, by the spirit of “show business”…

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Imagination IV

When we are engulfed by imagination, we lose the sense of reality, hence of quality. It is important to see that it is through reality that we attain quality, and through quality that we attain reality... not at all through imagination! We have so much difficulty in inducing substance that it is always possible to slide into a figurative mode, whereas quality puts us in direct contact with reality. In fact, substance is completely overlooked in today's world; not only do we replace it by relation of reason (i.e . the "universal", One from the multiple, Being as an abstraction) but we don't distinguish relation of reason and real relation. Hence, we cannot discover what realism is, as relation dispenses of distinguishing between realism and idealism.

In the order of Being, if we do not ask the question what is the is of the judgement of existence "this is" (i.e. what is Being), our experiences are always susceptible of being idealized and of being enveloped by our imagination. Why do quantity and imagination often go hand in hand? In my view, it is because quantity has no limits. Incidentally, quantity plays a huge role in psychology. To let oneself be taken down the river of quantity can give us a thrill not unlike that of rafting. In any case, one can well measure the difference between the Freudian and the Aristolian vision... for the former, our sleep and our vegetative life are the peak of the human person, whereas for the latter the peak is the spiritual soul: intelligence and will in act.

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