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Re: One question about Glenn Gould

He apparently had the most un-lonely life, largely over the telephone in the middle of the night. I think if we try to evaluate his life from our experience and our standards, we're doomed to come to the wrong conclusions.
I've written before about aspects of his abandonment of the concert stage. City after city, hotel after hotel, airport after airport is a brutal kind of life, and at a very young age, he rejected it. Mostly we talk about his interest in the technical and artistic possibilities of the recording studio, but I'm convinced there were deeply personal reasons for leaving the concert stage as well as musical and aesthetic. Touring was making him sick, physically and soul-sick. He wanted instead to haunt his beloved Toronto, which energized rather than sapped his soul. He knew he had only one life to live, long or short, and he came to the conclusion that touring was a kind of violent robbery of that finite life; Toronto gave him the particular gifts of a rich life that he wanted.
He was no more lonely than he wanted to be. If he'd wanted, hundreds of admiring people would have swarmed around him; he could have had a salon full of people if that was the kind of artistic and intellectual environment he wanted. But whatever his desires were in life, for Gould, they required a great deal of introspection, and a great deal of insulation against Noise and Disruption and Trivia. Many people want some of these things, but just never work up the nerve to demand as much of them as they want. Gould did; some people find it repellent, some shocking, some sad. I find it courageous and, at the end of the day, it gave us the magnificent treasury of his music and his remarkably original radio documentaries.
Ned Rorem said: "There's too much music." He meant that the constant explosion of music from multiple public sources in modern electronic times makes it nearly impossible to isolate and focus on beautiful and important music (by one's own choice). Every hour of Britney Spears on car radios, every hour of Eminem on a boombox in the park is a theft of time and concentration we might have wanted to pay to the LaBeque Sisters or Caruso. What some may see as Gould's loneliness and isolation was partially some very brave choices to protect his musical environment so he could concentrate on what he thought was important. I would grudgingly call it a strange life if someone could tell me what a normal life is, and what treasures await this normal life.
-----Original Message-----
From: James Whiskeychan <ojibwa50@HOTMAIL.COM>
Date: Saturday, July 06, 2002 3:39 PM
Subject: One question about Glenn Gould
Dear Elmer and all,
 And I think he just had the MOST fascinating and entertaining life.
Interesting comment Elmer.  I always thought Glenn Gould had a rather lonely and sad life.  I would love to be able to play the piano as well as he did, but I wouldn't want to give up a somewhat normal life.  What makes you say he had an entertaining life?