Sunday, October 24, 2010

always bring a pen, some paper too.

on friday night i went downtown with friends to hear a symphony.

the first pieces (by j. tower) felt too "modern" for my crude ear. i also learned why rachmaninοff's concertο no. 1 is not a standard favorite .. \-:

after the intermission, the orchestra played a dvorák symphony, which was better suited to my tastes: it had a very good flow, spirited occasionally by folkish themes.

i couldn't enjoy it, however:

a few minutes into it, i started thinking about mathematics. by the second movement i realised that one of my ideas for a lemma wouldn't work.

the music suddenly became an distraction [1], as i tried to think through the steps. then i cursed myself for forgetting to bring a pen, and tried to integrate mentally.

it didn't work.

i remembered to applaud at the end, though, but it took a little while for me to stop obsessing over mathematics and be a person again. it would only be the start of the evening, for us, and it wouldn't do to dismiss my friends.

[1] this is hardly fair to the musicians, of course. when attending a symphony, anything but the music should be regarded as the distraction. \-:

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