Wednesday, July 16, 2014

NMB round ups

Phil Fried
The question is who has been commissioned in this context and what were the results?
Its true that market forces rule and if a grants organization wants to emphasize a particular style of art or music they do that, and not just at “artplace.” The fear that trained classical composers are an unlikely fit here and that these opportunities seem more appropriate for sound artists seems real enough.
Yet who are composers that artsplace intends to place? Not our leading or star composers certainly. Who is left? On the other hand there is a tension between a composer and the community even if that has been denied on these very pages by a few of our very successful fellow composers. That artists are an agent for community revitalization there is no doubt, that a plan can be created to keep them in place is speculative but perhaps worth trying.
Just because 1920′s Paris, among others, is gone does not mean that all artist colonies devolve into tourist traps or gentrification. 
Phil Fried
How I loved the Mad Show, I wore that record out. My parents refused to let me see the show. Evidently not for kids. The “Hate song” still has its power. I loved that song so much that I transcribed it from the recording because the music was out of print.
Farewell Mary Rodgers.
Phil Fried
The point of “occupy” is to speak truth to power and in the best American sense perhaps level the playing field. For this to work in an arts context there are some real problems to consider.
Arts its a different kettle of Fish. Unlike the arts no one lives in a “banking community.” For many the arts are their life.
Also Wall Street and the banks have a lot of customers.
Musical institutions make very few commissions and they tend to use the same or similar people over and over. Also popular music is a gigantic industry with a very small percentage of successful musicians. In both cases those empowered with success become celebrities, but more important they are the power. At least for the moment. Who are these famous people going to speak truth to? Or for? Certainly they have nothing to risk. Can Philip Glass speak for me and my music? Will he give up a commission so I and others can be performed in his place? I’m not sure he could do this even if he wanted to.
How can we propose a revolution in classical music when the folks claiming its leadership are the very folks we need to replace.
The dragon does not slay itself.

    1. Philip Fried
      Unlike occupy wall street, its not easy to tell the good guys from the bad guys in the art world.
      Further complications include the fact that the 1 percent are usually arts benefactors, and that no one is in actually charge of the American musical arts scene. There is no donkey to pin a tail on. On the other hand success for an American composer means sponsorship and composers can freely chose to align themselves with the workers or the management.
    2. ----------------------------------------
Phil Fried
The song in question is a comic song. Comedy is can be dangerous because its habit of offending someone. Jobs have been lost on private jokes made public. It is easy to misunderstand or be offended by a joke that tells a positive story in a negative or profane way. It seems that few of my fellow composers are known for their sense of humor. My own attempts at humor here have been misunderstood more than once.
Phil Fried
Isaac it looks like the above folks have it covered as it were. All 3 above make interesting reading, besides them there are 1000′s of composer blogs out there. A brief goggle of any of the posters here for say the last few months will show that most of them have their own blogs.
I do.
My problem with mainstream criticism is that it only focuses on mainstream activity. Another problem is that critics are not hired because of respect for their opinions but because their bosses believe that their opinions reflect the majority of their readers.

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