Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Classical Music, Alex Ross, and Jamie Foxx

In the October 22 issue of the New Yorker, Alex Ross writes about classical music on the Internet: blogs, information, audio files, and such, concluding that the Internet helps promote classical music. (His definition of classical music includes all that modern stuff).

Ross's blog, The Rest is Noise, looks interesting, though I have not have time to read much yet. There was a reference Jamie Foxx, who played Ray Charles in the movie, Ray (a movie I have been meaning to see, but have not yet found the time for). Foxx is going to be a cellist in his next movie. Here is a snippet from the article Ross linked to in the Daily Record (U.K.)

His interest in ladies is one of the reasons why he's working hard on his new challenge, learning violin and cello for his next film, The Soloist, where he plays a homeless schizophrenic who plays classical cello and violin brilliantly on the streets of LA.

And when the Record arrived at Jamie's hotel, so did a courier with a cello for Mr Foxx to practise on after our interview.

"The guy who shows up to show me how to play the cello is nothing like what I expected," says Jamie. "I thought it would be a stiff guy. But my guy is like a Ninja cellist. He's a really fit, goodlooking Asian dude, and he comes to my place with his cello strapped to his back. The first time he came, there were some ladies at my place when he started to play, they just went all dreamy over him. They were fascinated and when I saw how impressed they were, I thought: 'Oh, my God, I got to learn to play the cello!' "

Whatever it takes! I will definitely make time to see this movie, and maybe even take a look at Ray first. (I thought I read this book, but I don't remember the "homeless schizophrenic who plays classical cello and violin brilliantly on the streets of LA" part. Perhaps I am thinking of another book? Perhaps the storyline has been changed?


cellodonna said...

Isn't there a book called "The Soloist" about a guy who's serving on a jury? I remember reading something like that 3 or 4 years ago. I'll have to go look it up. I don't recall anything about a homeless person.

Maricello said...

Yes, you're right. I looked it up on Amazon. Here is a summary I found there:

"The difficulties encountered by "gifted and talented" children are dispassionately chronicled in this unusual story about a musical prodigy who as an adult must come to terms with his own mediocrity. When Reinhart Sundheimer's gift as a world-renowned cellist suddenly and inexplicably deserts him at age 18, he is bereft, for he knows no other life than that of the concert stage and is accustomed to adulation. As a college professor who has never learned social skills, he is aloof from his colleagues and spends his spare time practicing in the vain hope that his gift will return. Then, in one event-filled week, the outside world invades his insular environment. First, he is called to jury duty and, second, he agrees to give cello lessons to a 12-year-old prodigy. Interacting with other jurors during deliberations on a brutal murder case and reacting to the unpredictability of his student and the student's Korean family require emotional resources that he never knew he possessed. Both experiences result in personal insight that allows him to accept his limitations as a musician and gives him courage to broaden his horizons as a man. YAs are sure to empathize with the troubled protagonist."

His career over at 18? Maybe the movie producers didn't think that was dramatic enough. I'll still watch the movie. A cello is a cello, homeless or insane.