Well, CogZest is short of staff but not of projects. But there’s a French expression “Petit train va loin” (slow and steady wins the race).
While I’ve written mainly about benefiting from non-fiction, I don’t intend to neglect art.
First, it is also useful, to many of us, to not merely experience art, but to use it to improve ourselves in some way. Many of the (software and conceptual) tools that I described in Cognitive Productivity can be used for delving language-based art. For instance, when reading a book or a play you can use inner tags to keep track of characters and key events. One usually collects electronic information about art which can easily get lost, unless one has a good information management system.
Whether one is delving art or non-fiction, it’s not normally a good idea to simply extract and instill propositions directly from the resource. One needs to engage in elaborative processing. Delving art is a good reminder of this because art is normally so indirect (though occasionally there are some literal knowledge gems to be directly extracted!).
I know that some people will be aghast at the notion of productively processing art. I’m not suggesting one spoil the experience of art. But if one does also want to get more mileage out of it than an enjoyable evening, one might as well go about it efficiently and effectively.
Second, you may have noticed my posts about the work of Jacques Brel, Philippe Falardeau and David Francey. I’ve also vaguely alluded to our Zest of Brel and ACT in Three Acts projects. I’ll keep them vague for now.
To nourish these projects, and myself, I’ve had the pleasure of taking in more art than usual this year. I’m interested these days in art that has a romantic theme. (CogZest and I emphasize affect!). I’ve recently very much enjoyed
- Anton Chekhov’s timeless Uncle Vanya ,
- William Inge’s Bus Stop (some really good lines in there),
- A night at the Vancouver Symphony in which a delighful romantic hexad of Strauss’s Songs (texts by Clemens Brentano, John Henry Mackay, and John Henry Mackay) were performed between the overture of The Marriage of Figaro and Beethoven’s Ninth,
- Mozart’s Don Givonani (Vancouver Opera), and
- New Westminster & District Concert Band Society, Music of the Americas, including the riveting, Shadona.
Coming up are:
- The Chelsea Hotel: The Songs of Leonard Cohen,
- Pearson College’s One World 2014: 160 students from 80 countries celebrate diversity with 22 performances of music, story and dance,
- Dancing to the tunes of The BIG CITY SOUL @ The Admiral April 5,
- Elektra Women’s Choir, How the Blossoms Are Falling “a program celebrating life’s passages and relationships” May 10, and
- several VSO symphonies.
Many of these works provide raw materials for personal development, but not a recipe. Speaking of which … I ‘m off for a late lunch listening to Bach’s Air on The G String and Cello Suite. But in case you’ve forgotten what I look like, here’s a picture of me taken last week at Don Giovanni (a very naughty character).