Every eSalon has an uncanny knack for bringing me many new topics for new posts. I listen to friend Marc Farre, and there they are. Thank you, Marc.

With all his usual effusive eloquence, Marc described the Beach Boys concert in NYC of a few nights ago and, from there, the power of music to move the tribal gathering (audience).

Got me thinking. The collective power to move that is sparked in an audience, a congregation, a convention. Versus the power to move that happens in other arts. Hmmm.

I’m not talking moving as in changing domiciles (although that has been much on my mind and in these posts in recent weeks.) I mean move as in “move the emotions.”

As part of an audience, one gathers the electricity of others. One breathes the shared breath. The changes of groove and beat and melody are visceral. Whether in the high voltage of a rock concert or the sweeping perfection of movement in dance or the compelling impetus of a theater piece, we are there to be the thing we are witnessing.

Bearing witness to a writer’s effort, being a recipient-partner to that other breed of creation, is a different thing altogether. Reading is, by its nature, an intimate and solitary act. Writing is a food consumed in silence, a quiet in all but the mind; a direct thread from creator to the Other. One cannot imagine the reader (or, to stretch the thought, listeners to a public reading of a novel) jumping up and down in the shared excitement of the act. It just wouldn’t happen.

To state the more-than-obvious, all arts are personal, defined by individual meaning. All are one-on-one. Performance arts are, in many ways, ask for a more directed response; as they surround you, as they fill the air, they tell you what to feel, think, experience. Books and poetry, on the other hand, grow the experience from the inside of our heads. They are music laid into the static markings on a page, sung to ourselves as we read. In reading, the work does not fill the ether…we do.

A question, then: What is the nature of the writer, the poet, the musician, the dancer, the actor, the painter? How is one creative artist different from the next? How is each mind-state like the mind-state of the person who receives those gifts?

In the close, confidential contact between one person and another that the arts are, different disciplines carry with them different modes of experience, each with its own way to take it into ourselves. Different keys to different self-locks. Not better, just different. Interesting thing to contemplate, no?

Thank you, Marc, for yet another ticket to a fascinating train of thought….

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