Music: Food for the Soul?

In cd, culture, Miraverse, music industry by Michael Tiemann

Another article by Robert Frank confirms that the most desirable purchase these days is not a thing, but an experience (a memorable meal to be precise). What’s up with that?

For data, Frank provides that:

A new study by American Express of their U.K. Centurion card holders (read: titanium-toting super-rich) found that “self-fullillment and learning” is the second-most-important priority for high-end vacationers. Number one was “value for money.”

Maybe Proust got it right, and that it is the sense of smell that most deeply connects us to what is most transcendentally meaningful and fulfilling in our own life’s experience. A memorable meal certainly includes some great smells in a transcendent atmosphere.

But I think that’s only half of it. I’m really grooving to Paul Hanson’s Frolic in the Land of Plenty, and of the many things it evokes, neither food nor smell is one of them. But it does stir something deep in my mind, animating imagery, emotion, and a deep sense of rhythmic connectedness. And in some sense it both stimulates and satisfies a musical hunger in my soul. And while music used to be sold on that basis, it seems that music now resembles more the ubiquitous mini-appetizers that have been optimized for shelf-life, transportability, and familiarity.

But if there are meals that are worth $1,000 for a couple, why not music? Does the chef necessarily command more magical powers over food than a musician does over their instrument? No. But for years, the grastronomes have been educating the wealthy to better appreciate their food–its origins, methods of cultivation and harvest, preparation, aesthetic, nutritional, and medicinal properties, etc.–and now meals are both satisfying and educational experiences. And if we do believe that “we are what we eat,” then certainly we become our best by eating the best, so perhaps there is a bit of vanity being served along with the fois gras.

But I also believe that we must feed our souls along with our bodies, and for me, music is the best nourishment there is. And an archival environment like The Miraverse will provide a digital memory to augment the memorability of the performance.