Classical music composed for the beauty hidden in our minds

Features | Online edition of Daily News - Lakehouse Newspapers.

I just love the descriptions this writer uses to convey a deep appreciation of classical music:

"I didn’t know how to let it (classical music, both Western and Indian) under skin and into heart and how to close eyes and let it take me to places I didn’t know existed. I was lucky, though. I had a friend at the Peradeniya University who played the Esraj. He was by then ‘Visahrad’ and later ‘Nipun’.

Nishad Handunpathirana’s father taught music. He was a Kala Bhushana, a title conferred on him for having invented a new instrument, Chathuradvani, a combination of four instruments. Nishad lived in Sinhapitiya, Gampola and I spent many months during the tumultuous eighties when the universities were more closed than open in his house. I was forced to listen. Therefore I was able to understand Simon.

‘There is a party in progress, and a young man, is feeling lost and wandering about a mansion, very much like you and Hattha at the British Council in Kandy, those years ago. He finds himself in a huge library where an old man in a shaggy white mane is bending over a gramophone listening to a record. Suddenly, the old man sees and beckons him closer. “Beethoven”, he says. The young man stutters, “I cannot understand”. “You will, because it was written for the beauty that hides in your mind”, says the white-haired one. Over the next hour, passages are played, phrases reveal their enchantment, music becomes magic. Then, the symphony ends. The young man finds speech has fled him. He utters some thanks and turns away. Then quickly remembering another courtesy, he asks for a name. The old one bows his head gently, and softly says, “Einstein. Albert Einstein”’ Princeton, New Jersey.’ "

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