JIWON-My Opinion: Musician, Jerusalem, Palestinian Kids, Divans, Administration

Dear New York Folks,

This is Jiwon.

I compare my opinion with others. No intend to criticize or argue. It’s just been my opinion since I was sure of my ability. I am now busy at following my kids’ fast improvement in English. Whenever I find a better way, I will upgrade this version. Before finishing this part, I was fortunate to watch the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2006. Since I missed its starting part, I didn’t want to drop a moment by blinking my eyes. Then, I read my writings again. Then, I was curious and click

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/09/arts/music/09scal.html?ref=music .

On what makes a great musician: 

Philosopher Barenboim said. “Music does not become something. Something can become music. By this I mean to play a collection of notes, very beautifully, very brilliantly, is not yet making music. Music is when you achieve a state when…bla-bla-bla”

I used to think that the great musicians never finish their performance in the same sound as their starting one, so their ending sound explains how talented they are. Now, I say. Technique only makes a talented kid a great musician. Not every human beings are born musicians. Talented kids are sensitive and generally weaker than pushy, ambitious stage lovers, who should achieve a state when…bla-bla-bla to become so-so performers. If you really want to enjoy the gift from your gods, you just have to pick up the talented kids and train them to master all the techniques they need until they join professional groups, where cancerous cells are ready to strangle their native talent. Melody? Intensity? You don’t have to teach what means intensity to those who instinctively know how to concentrate on each note. By then, melody means nothing but a connection of each note. Perhaps, further education can also make them great musicians, but what really means education? There is no need to teach the open mind. What I think is the great thing to be a great musician is when he is sure of his ability with wonderful techniques and knows how to perfectly utilize the gift from his god, with open mind.

Why I never agree with Barenboim’s generous opinion? How many job vacancies are found each year in orchestras and music schools elsewhere? How many soloists are needed each year in concert halls elsewhere? Nowadays, there is no money left to finance ambitious music lovers, who are willing to die for the sake of music. If they want to risk their life, let them die. They will finally prove that the subject of their love and the top priority of their life is not music but their ego.

On Jerusalem:

Barenboim says, “My home would be in Jerusalem if and when it becomes something different than what it is now.”

I say. If I ever want to go to Jerusalem, its only reason is to visit some places, such as IASA and its kinder version. Years ago when I first started my study of this holy land, it was a candid land full of my favorite personalities. And then… for years, I have known Israel through politicians and musicians. Whether political or musical, it was the same Israel, where Elena Bashkirova’s favorite way was the best way to survive. Then I read again from the ticket buyers’ forum to the newspaper interviews, and find my favorite personalities again. They say about Talmud, education, analytical thinking, straight or plain talking, profitable organization, and music. Thus, I want to know if none but empty brains in Israel decide to study music for fear of their future. I really want to visit the IASA and see what their education is like.  

On Palestinian kids who are scared of Israeli soldiers:

No matter how Barenboim cries out and others comment on it, I feel no need to save this interview. I think Barenboim was simply naïve.

I used to think. If I side with the Hamas, I would insult Israeli soldiers’ presence around the Palestinian kids. However, I support the Palestinians, who recognize the existence of Israel. Then, I must say that the Palestinian kids should learn how to recognize the existence of Israeli soldiers unless they aim their guns at poor citizens for no good reason. I must say that they should also learn how to sweep their panic away whenever they stood in front of their enemy. I know it is very difficult and I saw too many times how Israeli soldiers treated the Palestinian kids. But this is the only way to protect their weak children. Teaching their kids how to hate their enemy will never make them strong. What about Taekwondo? Learning self-defense art is one of the ways to be sure of oneself and his ability. Why Taekwondo? Who is/was a bodyguard for the Queen of Jordan? How did the Jordanian athlete earn their first gold medal in the Asian Game 2006? I don’t think Taekwondo in Jordan is a royal sport and all the instructors are pure Koreans. Every Jordanian kid will provably be familiar with this sport. Then what about Palestinian kids? I promise. Once they learn how to recognize the strength of their body and mind, they will learn how to overcome their fear of being lost outside their mom.

On Elena Bashkirova:

“In [him], I found somebody who goes into a room and eats up all the light.” -pianist Elena Bashkirova on conductor Daniel Barenboim – (From http://blog.myspace.com/ : No more detailed information about this poster. Does this WNYC employee welcomes her posting listed here? Her title was “How er -romantic! & random mooning.”)

“One of the first things I (Bashkirova) noticed when I saw him (Barenboim) playing piano live was the incredible freedom in which he sits. Pianists usually sit upright. He sits as if he is at a table eating a wonderful meal, with a fantastically straight back, comfortable, relaxed. He is one of the few people I know who enjoys playing the piano and making music. It is like air for him to breathe. I don’t know anybody for whom it is such a natural way of being, in the music. (From Bashkirova’s CNN Interview)”

Now, this is my opinion about this romantic female. One of the first things I noticed when I saw her (Bashkirova) playing piano live was the incredible freedom…bla-bla-bla. I don’t know anybody for whom it is such a natural way of being, in the music. Therefore, this is exactly why she sounds untalented. First of all, she looks stupid and sounds stupid, whether she speaks or plays. If she had a tiny body and sat on the piano in the same way, she would provably look less stupid than now.

When I see this female enjoying her time at social gatherings, she looks animated. What do I need more to describe this female? I have been wondering why I can never find any of Barenboim’s opinion to criticize this stupid female pianist. I didn’t even find Barenboim’s praising his son’s mother, whenever she appears in Barenboim’s orchestra as a regular soloist. Barenboim, who is famous for words-words-words, keeps silent!

On Divans:

Barenboim said, “bla-bla-bla… peace… bla-bla-bla… understanding… bla-bla-bla… against ignorance… bla-bla-bla” (<- It took one month to summarize Barenboim’s words, words, and words! Sigh…)

I say. There is no compromise on making music, whether it is between Israeli and Palestinian, or between a genius and a retarded.

Barenboim says, “Music allows people to have a dialogue in a much stronger way. When you and I speak, you speak and I listen, and I speak and hopefully you listen. In music, each one has to express themselves, but simultaneously. Simultaneously he has to hear what his partner and other people are playing, what they have to say. And, therefore, there is playing in the orchestra, in the intelligent sense, is a school for living in society.”

I say. Pretty good… which divan follows Barenboim’s way of musical dialogue, by the way? I’m just wondering. I used to think that the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra is the best example of the Art of Compromise.

On the administrative side of music:

Barenboim says, “I’m allergic to anything administrative. If they ask me, I say what I think, and sometimes I say what I think before they ask me.”

I say. If I were ever allowed to “rule” the administrative side of music…, if I were…, I would introduce all the talented youngsters to the ticket buyers. All those trashy brand-names would never dare to dream their professional success, at least in my headquarters. I would enjoy my life having dinners with old ladies, who are willing to donate her fortune. What kind of human being is willing to give up her fortune in order to support this abysmal orchestra? I’m just curious. Damn curious.

On the problems facing musical education in America:

This is not the right time to show my final draft… 

To be continued… (SIGH!)

Sincerely yours,


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