Classical Music Forum banner
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,597 Posts
It's enlightening to hear peoples' opinions about experiencing music with drugs, because they readily admit that they've never had the experience. What is it that they could know about it? They believe there's impairment of musical understandings?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,597 Posts
New Mexico now allows the selling of weed for recreational purposes at licensed stores. From what I hear, folks from Texas are driving in to make their purchases. Anyways, there's a licensed store within walking distance from my home. Maybe I'll meet some composers from Texas there.:cool:
If it just started I'd advise staying off the roads as much as possible for 3 or 4 months. The problem with edibles is you might wait an hour and feel nothing. Then pow!
Or a newbie will mistakenly eat more without waiting for effects to fully manifest. They go out and then all of a sudden they just want to get home, but they can't...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,597 Posts
Well I'm not here to warn people about consequences, only to offer a more accurate picture than that presented by Simon Moon - which he acknowledged.

It's interesting that some who report to have been under the influence claim to have some kind of heightened experience - not just a different one.

This seems at odds with the extent to which people will argue the toss about which conductor's interpretation is the best: the search for some kind of combo of accuracy and perfection in a performance is undermined by the willingness to be in some kind of altered state when listening.
That's what I mean about posters saying enlightening things (post #76). Did you hear this experience from someone who was high in a situation like that?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,597 Posts
It's actually not a joke, but a fairly well researched phenomenon called state dependent learning. One of my wives learned to play pool in bars while more or less intoxicated (after work in a theater group). Ever after her game markedly improved after a couple of beers - and I was a reliable witness as I don't drink.

I spent a year as an acid head when i was 15-16 years of age. I still remember the impression Beethoven's Eroica, Brahms' Fourth, and a number of other works made on me under the influence of LSD. These were profound listening experiences for me. The best trip I had was the last one, when I heard King Crimson's Larks' Tongues in Aspic for the first time under the influence of two hits of microdot. The understanding of that music I came to that day convinced me to renounce all drugs, find new friends, and change my life completely.
Interesting. When we're very young trips like that really surprise us (from within ourselves, and the realization that it might've been there all the time before). When we get old we try to avoid such intense 'surprises' (I know I do). I just want feel a little differently when I revisit a listening destination. I don't want to lose all my normal references.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,597 Posts
The only common drug for most of European history until the mid-19th century was alcohol. And while there were certainly lots of composers, musicians and listeners who drank too much, I am not aware of a custom to get drunk before or during a classical concert or opera, unlike with weed and other more recent drugs and popular music of the last 70 years. There might also have been circles in the 19th and 20th century who used opiates or other drugs in combination with classical music, but I have never heard of any. I'd also think that many recreational drugs would be detrimental to performance, except maybe amphetamines and nicotine (tobacco was of course used in abundance and not even considered a vice until recently) and this would be a bigger problem in classical music than more loosely organized/improvised music.
So there are several cultural and musical reasons why classical music would be considerably different, I think.

Although I grew up in the 1970s and 80s when tobacco smoke was still almost everywhere I nevertheless am surprised that it must have been worse in the early/mid 20th century with artists sporting cigarettes on publicity fotos and during rehearsals (with ashtrays next to music stands or on the piano...)
There was study that indicated that there was something in cigarette smoke (not the nicotine) which forestalls the onset of dementia in some folks. It would be the same chemical in smoking papers. But I haven't heard anything more about it, so maybe there were errors in the study.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,597 Posts
Yeah, well I'm taking claims of 'enlightenment' (re the music) with a pinch of salt. EB's enlightenment that he should stop taking drugs is something else.
He renounced them... I've never had such an intense episode. I don't know what it's like..

Drugs and morality. If I've never tried it, can I still have moral issues with it? It's the same as other sins.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,597 Posts
It's not a 'sin' to take drugs (IMO, YMMV). It may be ill-advised to excess, or when engaging in activity that requires a clearer mind than drug-taking allows, but I see no question of morality arising from the mere fact of taking drugs.

Legality of course depends on the jurisdiction where you take them!
It's immoral to take any drug, since you might hurt yourself or others.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,597 Posts
I get enough enjoyment out of listening to music without drugs or alcohol. Why are you someone would want to deaden their senses with them is quite beyond me unless it's to help them forget the dreadful reality they think they are living in.
They want the most out of life and they'll chance it. It's usually ok, but there's always exceptions. What are the odds?

What do you miss if you refrain?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,597 Posts
Exactly. One loses nothing of real value by abstaining from body-altering or mind-altering agents.
Drugs and carcinogens might re-educate our thymuses so that cancer-recognizing immune cells aren't destroyed by mistake. Our thymus which we inherited long ago is a fascinating evolutionary development. In its haphazard way it gets the job done, AND it changes through the decades to address the threat of cancer, until we get so old that we're of no use to our species.

We just don't know enough about the non-stop complex chemistry - and so many relationships and interactions. But I'm not getting my hopes up about a safe stimulation of thymus function..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,597 Posts
Is it because we wish to "repopulate the world" that we have sex, and like it, or is it because sex feels (or ought to feel) really good? In animals, it is a Basic Instinct. In humans, not so much--the desire for pleasure far outweighs instinctive drive, hence the widespread use of counter-pregnancy agents/methods among both males and females.
Heh, whether it's 'instinct', the way we're keyed by NS or the pleasure principle, men need the variations in sexual experience as they get older.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,597 Posts
Exactly. One loses nothing of real value by abstaining from body-altering or mind-altering agents.
How do you know how sharp you are unless you have something to compare it to? Two different states of your mind, logical/confident and the other - tirelessly exploring patterns/insights we never 'think' about.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,597 Posts
I don't know about you, but I have no evidence to believe that I cannot be simultaneously in both modes. Or that there even are two such separate modes. :cool:
So your answer to the question (which I didn't expect) is that you tirelessly explore patterns and insights etc. that we never think about. I haven't been able to do that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,597 Posts
When I listen ('impaired') to familiar pop songs the joy is magnified. But CM is often too intense for me. I'd rather be entertained by fare which is mostly intended to uplift with simplicity or perhaps illicit some youthful 'energy'. It (the positive feelings and naivate) becomes experiential internally.
With CM I feel that I'm too close to the composer's spiritual singing to finish following a whole movement.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Chibi Ubu

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,597 Posts
When I listen ('impaired') to familiar pop songs the joy is magnified. But CM is often too intense for me. I'd rather be entertained by fare which is mostly intended to uplift with simplicity or perhaps illicit some youthful 'energy'. It (the positive feelings and naivate) becomes experiential internally.
With CM I feel that I'm too close to the composer's spiritual singing to finish following a whole movement.
That should be elicit some youthful energy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,597 Posts
It's been many decades since I read Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer, but, as I recall, somewhere within its pages Miller remarks that "Ravel could have driven us all mad" with Boléro.
Of course we don't really see or hear anything. Our brain, with the use of its natural drugs, completes the picture or the conceptual trail of sound vibrations. So therefore every waking experience is a drug trip.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Chibi Ubu

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,597 Posts
I guess everybody must have run out of drugs.... :eek::)
I didn't want to ever tell my parents, but I doubt that I would be a pianist today without those early drug experiences.

I really ’heard’ Schnabel's left hand for the first time, and the popping precision of Gould, wow. Such intelligence!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Chibi Ubu

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,597 Posts
I'll bet that professional pianists or other CM musicians hope that they go on stage with the mind of a surgeon. I hope that anyone I need to depend upon or closely interact with has a clear brain--nobody wants to appear in court with a stoned lawyer.
I'll bet you don't believe that we have a clearer mind for music when our brains are inhibited and enhanced (cycling between the two).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,597 Posts
I'll bet you are correct that I don't believe that if you are referring to drugs.
That brings up the question to me, were JSB and Mozart experiencing the natural brain chemicals their brains were producing in excess, compared to the rest of us? All the greats had no need for the help of outside drugs? Their brains (due to their experiences) were slightly different in this regard.

And I do think we get farther away from the ideal (our natural state of producing rewarding chemicals) the more we indulge.

For everything you lose you gain something AND vice versa. I think it was Emerson.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Chibi Ubu

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,597 Posts
I've heard that the more you're exposed to a carcinogen it will prime your cancer fighting system (which is a little stronger while we're young and might need priming).
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top