Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday Miscellanea

There is a whole set of lectures on aesthetics by James Grant from Oxford University on iTunes. Absolutely free!

I've just listened to the beginning of a couple of them, but my first impression is that they might be rather tedious. But I will explore further!

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Some really "cool" music:

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Here is an interesting article from The European on how musicians handle the economic problems of the music business.
The European: In the traditional music business, the record companies took care of business…
Palmer: I don’t think “traditional” is the right word…
The European: Why not?
Palmer: You call it “traditional” – referring to the 1930s or the dawn of recorded music. But what about the rest of human history?
The European: Mozart didn’t have a record company.
Palmer: Exactly. But many of those guys had the church, wealthy patrons or were traveling musicians, living from meal to meal. It’s important to bear all of that in mind because it is becoming increasingly important to look at the long trajectory of artists and how they had to find the right balance between creating art and feeding their families. Even if there has been this blip with the recorded music industry that created some strange utopia where artist got to focus only on their craft, we shouldn’t take it for granted. The music industry of the 20th century wasn’t a sustainable system.

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Canada tends to be rather shy about too much innovation. An example is the 19-year span when the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto, Canada's largest, failed to put on a single new opera. Here is the link to the article. The odd thing is that the "composer" selected is the pop singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright!
Wainwright’s opera Hadrian (with libretto by Daniel MacIvor) got the nod after three other full-length operas commissioned by the COC were abandoned one by one. The feeling among Canadian composers is perhaps similar to how visual artists would react if our selection for the next Venice Biennale turned out to be a graphic novelist who had recently taken up oil painting.

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