Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea. Blog, Internet resources, online reading groups, articles and interviews, Illuminatus! info.

Monday, December 18, 2023

Robert Shea on getting to know classical music

My Sangean HDR-16 radio, an HD radio, is the newest item in my radio collection. 

I am something of an antiquarian, in the sense that I collect radios and listen to music at home on my various radios. (The Schroedinger's Cat trilogy has a character who listens to a classical music station, and I have wondered what kind of radio RAW used when  he listened to classical radio stations. It may not be a question that obsesses most RAW fans). 

Robert Shea, like RAW, liked classical music, and here is his advice, which I endorse:

"Best general suggestion I can make on getting into classical music is to listen to your local classical station, which will probably be an FM station and may be a university station. Listen to a lot of stuff and make a note of the pieces that give you most pleasure. When you encounter something that gives you a particular thrill, buy a cassette or CD and play it a lot at  home. Ignore all critical bullshit about what you should like or not like; most music critics are the worst snobs in the world and just out to fuck up people’s heads. Just be a musical hedonist; follow the pleasure principle. Your taste will change as you familiarize yourself with the stuff, but you must be true to  your feelings. I used to think Mozart was for the birds; now I can’t get enough Mozart. So it goes. That is my advice. I have spoke."

Of course, nowadays he'd say "bookmark it on your streaming service," but I do find out about a lot of composers and pieces simply by listening to the radio. 

1 comment:

Eric Wagner said...

Thank you for sharing this. I used to agree with Shea about music critics, but I think some critics do a great job, such as Joseph Kerman and Charles Rosen. I look forward to the Joseph Kerman centennial on April 4, 2024. I would like to write a piece about Kerman for that celebration.