An attempted Analysis of a Musical Phenomenon – Part 2
So the question arises: Why did the gods shower this one person with such an abundance of their best gifts? What could have been their intention? That we should see him, and through him be reminded of them? That we should have an image of what man could be, and ought to become? Because at times David Garrett appears a messenger of the truly divine. Listening to him play Beethoven’s violin concerto may convince you of it. That he claims not to be religious is beside the point. There are those who insist that Mozart was not religious, yet his music proves the reality of heaven to all who have ears to hear.
Anyhow, the term ‘religion’ merely refers to our reconnection with the divine – nothing more nor less; a linking of our mind and soul to the godly world of beauty, goodness and truth. In that universal world of the spirit, our material world is embedded like ice floating in water: the same element, but in solid form. And of this invisible world the entirely non-material phenomenon of music has always been both message and evidence. That, I believe, is the reason why we enjoy, love and need music: It is a line of connection to our spiritual home.
And isn’t this precisely what so many people (both male and female) respond to in the case of David Garrett? That he is clearly not descended from apes, but created in the image of a god? Like it or not – this is my personal conclusion regarding the wellspring of his near-universal appeal. Just go and see how often the sentiments ‘divine’, ‘god-like’ and ‘not from this world’ can be found among those YouTube fan comments:
“He is secretly Apollo. No doubt about it!” – “… plays divinely.” – “… like a god with a violin.” – “… his music is the language of God.” – “Me encanta, parece un ángel tocando el violin.” – “Wie ein junger Gott – als hätte er die Violine erfunden.” – “… transports me to another world.” – “… shows the beauty of paradise.” … And so on. You see my point.
Yet even David Garrett cannot please everyone, as becomes distressingly evident from those very same comments sections. There are usually a few people (mostly male, but not exclusively) who spew acrid bile in response, as if his light were casting a shadow into their soul. Let us be sincerely glad that David has neither the time nor the inclination to read these comments. Those declarations of love and those darts of hate do not reach him. He follows his passion for music with a mature attitude to criticism and a cool disregard concerning the views of those whose opinion matters not. For he has already earned the approval of all those whom he respects most, and that is sufficient.
“Are the 172 people who disliked this video from ISIS?” one comment asks. It is indeed hard to imagine a mindset that responds negatively to so much beauty. Yet it exists, and the violence of its expression is worrying. That secret deposit of poisonous hate poses the question: What is it that could destroy David Garrett? Naturally one shies away from possible answers, for one wants him to be safe and to make music forever. Yet he himself wears a chunky memento mori on his finger, openly aware that all is temporary. Judging from his intense work schedule and his frequent travelling, a burnout or heart failure will be the likeliest threat as he gets older. It seems improbable that sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll – figuratively speaking – will dig his grave, since he appears to be so sensible in his choices.
Often has it been said that women love a bad boy; but I suspect they love a good boy even more if he arrives in the shape of David Garrett. The rapacious debauchery of certain rock, sports and film stars does not compare at all favourably with the disciplined coolness he projects. Observe, for example, that he finds the idea of taking sexual advantage of his groupies distasteful; that at televised events he usually switches unobtrusively to water after a first, polite sip from the offered drink; and that he refused to be drawn into a discussion on the benefits of drug-taking for musicians, stating firmly that they were addressing the wrong person for insights on this topic.
All you mothers of sons: Weren’t your hearts swelling with gratitude at that moment? What a fearless role model! David Garrett makes sensible choices look desirable, and it doesn’t seem to be an act. While he certainly knows how to party, he is also aware that it impairs his ability to perform the next day and is not afraid to say so – and, more importantly, to act upon this insight. In his achievements, young people have inspirational proof that self-discipline, dedication and persistent practice are indeed the foundation and the price of deserved (and lasting) success … and, hallelujah, they are prepared to take note.
Note to the reader: Since writing the above, I have realised that spiteful slander is just as real a threat to David Garrett as it is to anyone who dares to rise above the commonplace. I should have liked him to be exempt from this hateful rule, but bright lights always cast dark shadows.
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