When the world is ugly and crammed with friction, when the inside of your brain feels itchy and whelps rise along the filaments of your soul, finding something beautiful is imperative. It’s medicinal. Beauty serves as balm and salve for the hives welting up in the psyche. Loveliness is the antidote to the abrasiveness of the world. So, I seek beauty and loveliness. Sometime since coronavirus arrived, I took one of those questionnaires that codifies your personality traits. Somethings blur, but my recall is that it was associated the Yale University class on Happiness.
For me, the need for BEAUTY is paramount. So, I seek beauty. I make things beautiful. It is a full-sensory option: spicy Thai food, a cloudless, full-moon night sky, a random photo of my now adult son at the age of two or a master’s painting at the Louvre.
Recently, I listened to a segment on NPR about a new a composer who has written new music during the pandemic and that the New York Philharmonic Orchestra recorded the work – all separately. The pieces all had to be engineered digitally due to the pandemic. And then it was set to a smartphone app one would use while walking through Central Park. The music was composed specifically for walking through Central Park and it is unique to your GPS location. It is a curated experience. It sounds phenomenal from a purely acoustic experience, but to add Central Park as if it were itself a museum just blew me away. Susan Reid is a master, a magician and mad scientist. And her creation (the music) and her novel idea to link the music to the specific visceral and sensory experience of standing in a particular place in Central Park is truly wonderous. Susan Reid’s Soundwalk for Central Park.