Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Struggles real and imaginary

For some time now I have styled or placed myself as an outsider. If you look closely at the above link you will see that my activities alone have not been the gratuity of position or powerful friends. Evidently having powerful friends is in itself an artistic activity. Well, one can't have an artistic career without patrons can they? For most thats University life. Or whatever team they belong to.


Are my accomplishments somehow better, somehow more important?

One question I ask myself is how am I where I am?

I know this; when I went to school I had only artistic ambition. Ambition for my music-not for myself. Silly me. The revealing of my leaning disability at 29, I was diagnosed at 8 and untreated, changed a lot of things for me, but not enough. Changing my way of coping with LD is an still an ongoing process.

In school I had questions about the rightness of certain kinds of awards and activities. I drew lines in the sand about what I was will to do for my career not realizing that those decisions reflected on my institution. Nor did I think they would react. Obviously there were others willing to take my place in a second who had no such questions. So much for their interest in me. Then again whether I could survive in this kind of world with my attitude is not clear. On the other hand I just might have. I survived this.

Does this mean that my outsiderness is simply mismanagement? Or a ruse to empower myself?

Well I started my professional career with a satire on composers; my song cycle "Meditations and Satires." You get the picture. I could go into detail here about the Chicago and NY performances. Not now. At its later premiere at Tanglewood, as part of the choral festival, (not the new music week) was a huge success. In fact that singer wanted to perform M&S again at the Manhatten School of Music as part of her graduate recital but was refused because I was not faculty.

It would seem that my continued good artistic fortune would rule out that this is just plain sour grapes, though as I have pointed out before that many of the most successful composers have a chip on their shoulders. Especially now when folks want composers to pretend, or at least project being warm hearted.

No. All points lead here.

So I would say I am an outsider because of the failure of institutions to make use of me.

1 comment:

  1. I am impressed by your honesty, and willingness to name the power struggle that exists in the arts. We all hope to find an ear for our work, no one taught us that 99.9% of our battles would be political. Thank you for turning a light on this issue. We all need to look at it, if it is ever going to shift. Janet