Do you use the Shazam APP? I don't use it often. Only when I am so very moved by something I'm listening to and I know I have to stop everything so that I can know what it is so I can buy it.
It happened to me recently when I was listening to violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter's performance of a classical piece of music (the Zigeunerweisen, OP. 20 with the Wiener Philharmoniker) on the radio. It made me feel such intense emotions. Intensity. Nostalgia. Passion. Straight to my heart. What the composer's intent was and what I feel about it I am sure don't completely align. But that's ok. What I feel is almost a new birth that the music goes through. His intent. My unique receipt and experience of it.
It's incredible how music can do that. I also feel that way with most of Chopin, Debussy, and Fauré. And also Max Bruch's Kol Nidre for the cello. Actually, I can hardly listen to the entire Kol Nidre without getting choked up. It gets to me every time.
It's the same with visual art. There are pieces of art that connect with me so deeply that I have to stop everything and "shazam" it, if you will. To find out who made it, get closer to it, and if I'm lucky enough, to buy it.
Vivaldi's music doesn't do that for me. I like Vivaldi. But I don't think I've ever stopped everything I'm doing to Shazam a Vivaldi piece. It's pleasant and sometimes I frolic around in it with delight, as a respite of sorts, when I don't have the energy in me to fall to my knees with the kind of Kol Nidre music that gets me to the core.
So it came as no surprise to learn from the same radio station that many critics of Vivaldi used to categorize his music as "wallpaper music." Maybe unfair but I understand it.
I want to exist in a world where wallpaper art exists. But I don't want to make wallpaper art. I want to make Zigeunerweisen-Chopin-Debussy-Fauré art. Kol Nidre art. That's what I want to make, not in conflict with, but in concert with Vivaldi art.
It's almost Valentine's Day. Another V-word. Every Valentine's, I remember the best card I ever got. It was from my dad when I was in college. He sent me a 2o dollar bill folded into a V and taped onto a blank card. Signed, "Love, Dad."
That V helped me frolic in the moment. Pizza and fro yo for me and a friend. A respite from Nietzsche, calculus, and other heavy things.
Sometimes, it's the simplest gifts and expressions that help us frolic, I think.