The geese are all facing in angles
July 6, 2014 8:54 PM   Subscribe

Pianist Jeremy Denk has been living in a state of emergency. Instead of consulting a professional, I have come up with a three step solution. Recalibrating my life solution. The first step is to ignore all existing emergencies. Now, this—I can already hear you saying it—can’t last, this is not a workable solution. It sounds in fact like the opposite of a solution. Patience! Wait till you hear my next two steps. Step two—the real genius hinge of the whole thing—is then, in the absence of all emergencies, in the vast plain of false calm left after the tyrannical banishment of all the old emergencies, to choose to treat the smallest things as emergencies.
posted by shivohum (13 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I know that Whole Foods; that's my Whole Foods. It's very calm and kind of cosseted in a quiet corner behind the Boston Symphony Hall. I'm glad he didn't try to go to Trader Joe's — that involves Mass Ave and I'm afraid he would have had a heart attack.

But he's right about the Fenway geese. They're assholes.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:08 PM on July 6, 2014

I once had to fend a swan off with my bike. That felt like an emergency.
posted by arcticseal at 9:19 PM on July 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I'm not big on hunting, but man, fuck those geese.
posted by cribcage at 9:21 PM on July 6, 2014

Whimsical & Chaotic Romantic-Comedy Behavior + Time = Tragedy.
posted by belarius at 9:31 PM on July 6, 2014 [2 favorites]

Isn't this what everyone does, all the time?
posted by 445supermag at 9:33 PM on July 6, 2014

This is the kind of urgency I imagine from the customers in the fabulous Mr Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore.
posted by NoraReed at 9:39 PM on July 6, 2014 [3 favorites]

There is something quite beautiful about this writing. However, I got to step number three and started to get a little nervous that I was perhaps not the kind of person who could achieve a kind of hilarious transcendental emptiness at will. By the end I was having a slight panic attack that I never took calculus, and now my failure to understand math is also my failure to understand happiness.
posted by freejinn at 10:48 PM on July 6, 2014

When he got home the fire in his bedroom had indeed engulfed the building, but he felt OK about it.
posted by Segundus at 11:04 PM on July 6, 2014 [2 favorites]

When will Denk go away? I can't stand this pretentious blowhard, whose career rests more on his "snappy" writing than his second rate playing. The guy is a self-indulgent musician with nothing profound to say musically. Sure, his interviews and essays might make it seem there is something deep there but the music truly speaks for itself. His interpretation of Ligeti makes my stomach turn the same as it does for Dinnerstein's interpretation of Bach. More about the performer than the composer and their music. A true charlatan. Musicians know this. Critics, audiences and others evidently do not.
posted by ReeMonster at 11:38 PM on July 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

I haven't read so many heedless words about nothing at all since that one time I fell down a hole researching molecular diffision pumps because I was curious about high vacuum lab equipment. Consider me bloviated.
posted by loquacious at 1:57 AM on July 7, 2014

choose to treat the smallest things as emergencies.

Yeah, the thinking he's describing is when I know I have to cut back on the coffee.
posted by From Bklyn at 2:00 AM on July 7, 2014

A true charlatan. Musicians know this. Critics, audiences and others evidently do not.
Well not really a charlatan.. he is a very successful, super smart and talented entertainer, and tops at it for the many, many, listeners who are not particularly sensitive to transcendental music making... or those who have not been exposed to it.
posted by snaparapans at 7:44 AM on July 7, 2014

I've enjoyed reading Denk but I have not heard much of his playing. Detractors, can you go into a bit more detail about where, musically, he's going wrong?
posted by in278s at 8:48 AM on July 7, 2014

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