"Music with dinner is an insult both to the cook and the violinist." -- G. K. Chesterton
This is a quote that I stumbled across back in high school, but it has been one that's stuck with me ever since. It's one of those statements that I agree and disagree with simultaneously. On the one hand, considering when G. K. Chesterton lived and worked (late 19th and early 20th century), it is a completely valid and understandable statement. People tended not to multi-task nearly as much as we do nowadays; they were able and willing to focus on one form of entertainment at a time. I can understand why it would be insulting to attempt to fully appreciate either the food OR the music, while one could simply not concentrate on, and appreciate, both at the same time. Preposterous!
That being said, we live in a time now that is full of "combination art," or combining multiple forms of artwork to present one cohesive piece. Most people don't have the attention span to sit through an entire concert that is only comprised of music (no visual effects, no words, no snacks, nothing to occupy the hands). We also have a lot of trouble eating a whole meal without doing something else at the same time (watching TV, playing a game, scrolling through Facebook). That's not to say we can't do either one, it's just harder to ask people to do so when there are so many other distractions to occupy our time with instead. I've seen a lot of opinions lately about this shift in attention and appreciation, especially in regards to art, and most of them tend to fall into the category of berating the current generations about not being able to enjoy the "simple things" like we used to be capable of doing.
Personally, I think we should be able to grow in our appreciation of art! In the 1800s, we didn't have the technology to fully appreciate multiple forms of entertainment; who's to say the people that lived in that time period wouldn't have taken full advantage of the art we have available to us now? YouTube is here, for one! Pandora and iTunes and Spotify are things too! 19th-century young adults would have lost their minds if they were suddenly introduced to Vevo! I think we should find ways to appreciate the new and old alike, whether that means enjoying them in their purest forms, if that's what we're into; bringing brand new art, which has never been seen or heard or tasted or felt, into the world; or creating new methods of appreciating the same artwork we've been enjoying for centuries.
This is what I think: the way I see it, we already pair so many other art forms together, so why shouldn't we combine food and music?
Whether it's an obvious coupling, like the macaron and Maurice Ravel (both hail from France); or something more abstract, like AC/DC and a chocolate molten lava cake ("Back in Black?"); I think there are ways to highlight musical concepts with the food they're paired with. I also think there are ways to enjoy the preparing and consuming of food and beverage that are a little more dull without their musical counterparts.
Therefore, in lieu of a WILW post this week, I wanted to share with you a little introduction into what you'll be seeing more of around here. I am not abandoning anything I've posted about previously -- healthy living is still important to me! -- but I will be adding to the pot another ingredient that I've been wanting to incorporate for quite a while. I think music is vital to our striving rather than just surviving, so I want to share that part of my life, which is such a huge part, with you!
I hope you're excited to listen to some music with me! You can even stay a while and enjoy a cocktail or slice of pie at the same time!
Stay tuned for my first pairing!