Tuesday Jan 27, 2009
Mozart or Muzak
In An Artist Empowered, I use Amadeus to make a point about envy, talent, and genius. Here is an excerpt.
In the 1984 film, Amadeus, adapted from the play of the same name by Peter Shaffer, the playwright dramatizes a popular urban legend in the world of classical music: the alleged rivalry between two composers in the late 18th century court of Austrian Emperor Joseph II, the musical king.
There is the official royal Italian-born composer Antonio Salieri; and the newcomer, the Austrian prodigy Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Although the film is fiction, the story is portrayed in such a convincing narrative that many take it as being historically accurate—which it isn’t.
To appreciate genius is also a great gift; this is what composer Salieri in the film didnt know. You can’t create that which you don’t hear, see, feel, or sense on some level.
But let’s not be excessively impressed with genius. As wonderful as Mozart’s music is, there are times when his notes can be annoying, especially with the flute. Can’t an adult become a prodigy, too? Or, perhaps, that adult had been a child prodigy all along but without opportunity.
Then again, if Salieri knew the real score, there would be no artistic angst for the drama to unfold as a film and as a profound example of discerning the difference between Muzak and Mozart.
Remember, Mozart wasn’t born famous; neither was Picasso.
Would you tell us what your point was about envy?
Thanks for your generosity.
Let me respond with the opening paragraph to the Mozart or Muzak chapter:
“Don’t compare your own self to any other artist. Doing so plants and nourishes grievance seeds with long roots that sprout suffocating weeds for a lifetime of envy, ultimately stifling the dharma for which you have been born. Don’t concern your self with the seeming accomplishments of other artists. To covet has no place in a creator’s handbook for living. Focus on the present moment.”
I trust this will help give you focus.