Ecstasy and drudge

Alan Bennett (him again) recalls his early music education attending concerts at Leeds Town Hall—making an ethnographic point that is as valid for Daoist ritual as for WAM (Untold Stories p.412):

So it is not just music that I learn, sitting on those harsh benches, Saturday by Saturday. Music in the concert hall is also a moral education, and watching the musicians at close quarters, I realize that it is not just ecstasy and inspiration but that there is drudge to it too. Sometimes, the players would be on the same tram coming home, and I see that they are just like everybody else—shabby, in dirty raincoats and sometimes with tab ends in their mouths, ordinary people who, half an hour ago, were artists and agents of the sublime.

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