Rose-coloured spectacles and orchestra organizations LO26339

From: Bill Harris (
Date: 03/12/01

Replying to LO26256 --


I'm sorry to take so long to reply to your artistic response, but I had
other obligations.

"Magic Circ Op Rep Ens" <>

> After each law I just added a thought about it from the musical perspective.
> I realize telling is a poor way to communicate such things but anything else
> wouldn't work here. REH

I think you did quite well. I don't think I want to add anything to it.

> Bill, for me a Learning Organization is a Universe that contains an
> integration of all of the elements of life in a way that supplies the
> needs of both performer and product. It pursues values and explores ideas
> because to do so gives both pleasure and completion. Money is necessary
> for both sustenance and the development of an audience (consumer base). It
> is also necessary for the basic materials from which the product grows.
> But unless the art is an exploration of the pursuit of indulgence and
> opulence, an excess of money usually means the artist is lazy.

That reminds me of Dave Packard and Bill Hewlett's statements about the
role of profit at the company they founded. You can probably find more of
this on the HP site, but profit was essentially the necessary condition by
which they were able to fund all of the other objectives that they had,
including making a contribution to the world through their products, doing
something for the community (citizenship), and doing something for their
> The LO part is really very simple in that sense and more of a borrowing
> from a real artistic organization than a goal for one. If an orchestra is
> not and cannot create an integrated perfect Universe both as ensemble and
> product then as Arturo Toscanini said at one point to a very famous
> conductor. "You, my friend, are NOT an artist!" Nothing is complex to
> those who know how to do it! That is what practice is all about and most
> companies and market forces just mess up the waters and make it too
> difficult for real art and artistry to grow. They are concerned with the
> production of wealth only as an end in itself and therefore know little of
> Mastery. That is a psychological issue rather than an artistic or even
> professional one. Sort of like getting high on gasoline rather than using
> the car to drive someplace exciting.

I think that you just explained something fundamental to me, something
that I felt but hadn't really verbalized. Management of an LO is an
artistic endeavor, albeit with tools other than tones and timbres. To the
extent that managers, musicians, people are artistic, we have the
potential to create something special. To the extent we miss the art, we
fall into the mundane.

> There is a loss of will in the culture at large that the Military has not
> gone along with. They know about muscular bonding and the power of even
> the most banal ritual. The rest of the world is still concerned with
> separation and individuation. Any artist who hasn't done that already and
> tasted the gall of his individuality has not even begun. It is not hard
> to be alone. It is hard to live together as one ensemble, each going into
> that brain state that all musicians in great ensembles know like the back
> of their hand. But that is the only way to reach the other side.
> Together! The artist knows that often the door is really an accident or
> worse, a mistake. But in the Artistic LO being right or righteous is
> often to be banal, limited and dumb.

When I first learned music, I regarded it as an intellectual activity.
It wasn't until much later, perhaps after hearing a college Spanish
professor and baseball coach speak passionately of the Greek ethos of the
scholar-athlete, that I realized what I had missed along the way by not
recognizing how inherently physical music is.
> Ray Evans Harrell
> P.S. 2:00 in the morning brings out my pedant. Hope this wasn't too dry.

Not at all.



Bill Harris                                  3217 102nd Place SE
Facilitated Systems                          Everett, WA 98208 USA               phone: +1 425 337-5541

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