The enlightened Listener
A musician trains his or her entire life to never not listen. - says Mathieu here (p.211) and on some other pages. To repeat and to phrase in this way shows how important this idea is for him - he avoids the easy way "always listens " to express it. This wording made me to think about it longer but there may be more to find. Can you see something more in this wording?
This training is not easy - True practice - when your listening is focused and your musical memory is awake - addresses the challenge of rewiring, or newly wiring, the brain. ... really learning them [sounds] until they live comfortably in you - is for the most of us very hard work. Even the most loving teachers often have to be tough cops and insist that students do their inner of work of hearing. (p. 240)
Somehow I had imagined that a musician is developing quietly, learning new things and changing accordingly. I was not aware of how the inner process is forcing her to change, against her will, fear or resistance.
Mathieu asks the reader to push her limits of concentration and do it repeatedly. After a series of these exercises her earlier music gets 'amazing transparency'.
There is also difficulties and dangers with all this music surrounding us today. To explain his standpoint he asks me to think about the music as kissing and hugging. (p.226) When I am taking a walk all unknowns are coming and just hugging me and I am supposed to accept and appreciate it. At a restaurant someone is kissing and hugging me continuously, yes sophisticated, but I can not ask him to go away. I just can ask the waiter to keep it at an appropriate level!
This music hugging us everywhere has given his ears a kind of chronic exhaustion, like aural jet lag. He uses the recorded music with great care, chooses acoustic music when there is a choice and he retreats to silence whenever he can.
Despite of all this he accepts the situation - as a characteristic of human life here on this planet at this time. (p. 227) He is also generous and open minded about the quality of the music for inner training ... any music in any style. There is no best music.
Here you can read what Joy-in-motin appreciated in this chapter. She is the intiator of this BookClub.