TeaFruitBat responds to my blog

With his permission here are excerpts from a response from Ryan )aka ‘Tea Fruit Bat’) to my earlier post regarding his music and what it can do in the world:

I was reading some of the articles in your blog last night, many of which are very interesting.  I especially enjoyed the one about ageism, and how older people should pay attention to the young, as well as vice versa. I can’t say I always understand what certain young people are saying or doing, but I am at least curious to see how they think about things and parse their experience (for those that *do* think about things, that is!). ……. I have lately gotten a couple of challenging new students who found me on YouTube……Though I am by no means a friend to all the youth of the earth (!), I always try to smooth the way for intelligent and sensitive young fellows who need the kind of attention and nurturing of their interests that I never got (but so sorely needed) in my youth.  There will never be many such people, but helping even a couple is more than worthwhile for me, especially with my usually reclusive behavior.

Another thought about what you said about me in the blog.  Not only do I champion lesser-known composers, but lesser-known instruments as well: the clavichord (of which I now own 4!) is the example I’m referring to.  In this age of noise and attention-getting extravagance, the soft, sweet-toned clavichord, suitable for private music making in the home, and for the delectation of a few closely gathered friends, goes heavily against the grain of modern trends, but its whispering tones can speak to us powerfully—there is a saying that if you really want someone to pay attention, whisper.  The concept of such a private instrument may seem to be at odds with some of what you have emphasized, e.g., the lack of social interaction and the drawbacks of individualism—but YouTube allows that experience, which may have special meaning for certain persons  who don’t find it elsewhere, to reach a wider audience.

Here is a lively Bach piece played on the clavichord:

And a melancholy piece of Henry Purcell:

For work I have added the music to a couple of our laboratory’s videos of the North Pole web cam.  we think the soft and ghostly sounds of the  clavichord (and especially the quirky and melancholy music of  Willhelm Freidemann Bach, Johann Sebastian Bach’s eldest son) complement the images well.  See what you think:



Clink on his link in the MUSIC links to the right to go to his site.  
Or you can click here: http://www.youtube.com/user/teafruitbat
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‘Teafruitbat’ plays Scriabin – Poème Op.69 No.1

My good friend Ryan Whitney aka ‘Professor Teafruitbat’ (tea fruit bat) displays his great talent on classical piano for us.

Ryan has been one of my longest-lasting friends, having met in Seattle when I lived there.  He is a true European classicist.  His library is filled with first editions of European classic philosophy and history and general literatures. His musical instruments are one-of-a-kind collections that make the interpretations of the music he plays that much more beautiful.

Ryan’s interest in classical music, however, are not the typical mainstream ways of classicism.  Even as most European and US American cultures have been in the process of forgetting western classical music, within the preservation of the classical genre, there is a tendency to pay attention to the ‘more popular and well-known’ such as Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin and others.  Ryan plays Chopin beautifully, as Chopin is one of my favorite classical composers. So I find Chopin pieces and who I think are the best interpretors of Chopin.  I love my friend Ryan’s interpretations usually.  Ryan plays some pieces of the main composers such as Bach and Chopin and others.  But his focus is on the lesser know.  Alexander Scriabin and Sergei Liapunov are amongst his favorites to interpret with his playing.

I feel that it is important that all of us do not just pay attention to the most popular.  The most popular of anything is also a field in which control factors come into play.  Our minds become less diverse and accepting in the course of paying attention to only the popular.  Resistance within resistance. Resisting popular classical music with listening to the lesser known, does not make the more popular classical composers evil or bad or blah.  Include. Feel, enjoy.

His YouTube link is here: http://www.youtube.com/user/teafruitbat or click on ‘teafruitbat’ in the Music links list to the right.

Here Ryan plays for us Alexander Scriabin: Poème Op. 69 No. 1