Everything we don’t have to do.

30 sep


In his great lecture Brian Eno defined art as ‘everything we don’t have to do’;

“Now what I mean by that is that, there are certain things you do have to do to stay alive. You have to eat, for example. But you don’t have to invent Baked Alaskas or sausage rolls or Heston Blumenthal. So you have this basic activity that we and all other animals do, which is called eating, but then unlike all other animals, we do a lot of embroidery and embellishment on top of it. We make eating into a complicated, stylised activity of some kind. You have to wear clothes. But you don’t have to come up with Dior dresses or Doc Marten boots or Chanel little black frock, whatever it’s called. You can tell I haven’t got one. So, once again we have an essential need – clothing ourselves – which we then do with intense sort of interest. We stylise and embellish and ornament and decorate.”

And some people have to listen to music to stay alive, really. This week I showed ‘Waste land’. IMDB: On the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro is Jardim Gramacho, the world’s largest landfill, where men and women sift through garbage for a living. Artist Vik Muniz produces portraits of the workers and learns about their lives.

After the documentary I asked the students if they had tips for the next movie. One student came with ‘Alive inside’;

ALIVE INSIDE is a joyous cinematic exploration of music’s capacity to reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity. Filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett chronicles the astonishing experiences of individuals around the country who have been revitalized through the simple experience of listening to music. His camera reveals the uniquely human connection we find in music and how its healing power can triumph where prescription medication falls short.

This stirring documentary follows numerous visionaries in healthcare including social worker Dan Cohen, founder of the nonprofit organization Music & Memory, as he fights against a broken healthcare system to demonstrate music’s ability to combat memory loss and restore a deep sense of self to those suffering from it. Rossato-Bennett visits family members who have witnessed the miraculous effects of personalized music on their loved ones, and offers illuminating interviews with experts including renowned neurologist and best-selling author Oliver Sacks (Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain), healthcare visionaries Dr. Bill Thomas, Dr. Al Powers, Naomi Fiel, and musician Bobby McFerrin (“Don’t Worry, Be Happy”).

An uplifting cinematic exploration of music and the mind, ALIVE INSIDE’s inspirational and emotional story left audiences humming, clapping and cheering at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award.’

Some people have to listen to music if medication falls short.

In some situations art can triumph over medicine.



2 Responses to “Everything we don’t have to do.”

  1. Olchert 30 september 2016 at 8:08 AM #

    Thanks for the tip! Love to see ALIVE INSIDE and is on Netflix!

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