Chapter 9:

Wands of Conductors, Artists, Poets

Peter Y. Chou

Preface: This was originally in "Chapter 8 with Magic Wands in Fairy Tales". However, decided to give it more credibility in a separate Chapter 9. While Fairy Tales are fiction and folklore, Music, Paintings, and Poetry are real artistic works that impact our daily lives. In A Vision of the Last Judgment (1810), William Blake writes "Poetry Painting & Music: the three Powers in Man of conversing with Paradise which the flood did not sweep away." This is echoed by Ralph Waldo Emerson in his Essays (1841)— "no man ever forgot the visitations of that power to his heart and brain, which created all things anew; which was the dawn in him of music, poetry, and art" (Quote on Power). May 4, 2020 issue of Mercury News reports "Coronavirus: Menlo Park art gallery opens in defiance of shelter-in-place order". Artist Katharina Powers argues that art is essential like food. Menlo Park Police Department commander tells owner reopening is "ridiculous". Emailed Katharina that Blake and Emerson are on her side, that her action is honorable and heroic. After sending "Poetry Painting Music",
she wrote— "you are so nice, thank you very much. A good poem is all I needed just now." Such is the power of art in life.

The Baton: Magic Wand of Conductors in Music

Conductor's Baton
Music's Magic Wand

Arturo Toscanini
NBC Symphony Orchestra

Leonard Bernstein
New York Philharrmonic

Eugene Ormandy
Philadelphia Orchestra

Seiji Ozawa
Boston Symphony Orchestra

Herbert von Karajan
Berlin Philharmonic

Gustavo Dudamel
Los Angeles Philharrmonic

Germany 2022
(issued 11-12-1998)
When I told Ann Olmsted that I'm researching magic wands in Fairy Tales, she emailed me (November 17, 2020): "No fictional witch or wizard has ever had a magic wand to rival a conductor's baton— the conductor has only to lift it, and a whole orchestra begins to play." History of the Baton: In 709 BC, Greece, Pherekides of Patras used a golden staff to start some 800 performers. The nun Raffaella Aleotti (first Italian nun to have published any music) conducted a group of fellow nuns in 1594. Louis Spohr introduced the modern baton to England on 10 April 1820, while conducting his second symphony with the Philharmonic Society in London. In each case, this conductor's device maintained its original purpose: to mark the tempo and keep together a group of musicians. I was surprised o see Pierre Boulez conducting the New York Philharmonic (1971-1978) without a baton. Kurt Masur also used no baton conducting the NY Philharmonic (1991-2002).
Photo Sources: Click on photo for source of the image.

The Paintbrush: Magic Wand of Painters in Art

Painter Holding Paintbrush

Artist Painting Sunflower

Old Man with Paintbrush

Artist Holding Paintbrush

Artist on Canvas

Oil Painting

Female Painter
Leo Tolstoy writes in "What is Art?" (1897), that a painting is not finished when completed on the canvas. There is a dialogue between the painting and viewers imparting the feelings of the artist to the audience. Since the paintbrush is the artist's instrument, it is this magic wand that holds our attention when we visit museums.
Photo Sources: Click on photo for source of the image.

The Pen: Magic Wand of Writers in Poetry

Hand with Quill Pen
in Wisdom Mudra

Hand Holding Pen
Ready to Write

Poet with Pen
Writing a Poem

France B393
Coco Writing

Hand Holding Quill Pen

Writing a Poem

Female Writers
Whether we're using a feathered quill pen, a fountain pen, or ball-point pen, we hold it between our thumb and forefinger in the wisdom mudra pose. This is a creative gesture in yoga (Vitarka mudra), one favored by Albert Einstein. One of my favorite quotes is from Lu Chi's Wen-Fu (303 AD)— "Out of non-being, being is born; out of silence, the writer produces a song."
Photo Sources: Click on photo for source of the image.

— Peter Y. Chou
    Mountain View, 11-20-2020

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© Peter Y. Chou, Wisdom Portal
P.O. Box 390707, Mountain View, CA 94039
email: (11-20-2020)