A young man is trying to change how people see themselves and the world through the sound of music, specifically the sound of the flute. James Brinkmann plays the flute on Michigan Ave and in the subways to try and change people’s perception of classical music and it’s beauty. As Dostoyevsky stated, if anything is going to change this world it is beauty. And I would add, the sound of music.
When James performs a particular piece from one of the great masters, he encourages people to write or draw on a felt board that stands next to him, in response to the music. In this way, the power of music frees the imagination of the listeners to express thoughts and emotions. Classical music will always be a part of our culture because it is timeless, like Gregorian chant.
I’ve always been a bit intimidated by classical music because it seems high brow and out of reach, until I simply listen, allowing myself to be moved. It usually has a calming and reflective affect upon my spirit. I learned of a high school in Chicago that used to play classical music through the intercom, very softly, it’s sounds filtering through the huge corridors. The students were noticeably more calm and focused. I wonder if they still do this?
In these difficult times, maybe all of us could benefit with listening to the sound of music that can change inner dispositions for the better. I think the power of beautiful music is its ability to help us respond to life in a reflective manner, rather than simply reacting in raw emotion.
Peace. Fr. Frank. Google James brinkmann to see/hear for yourself.