Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Now is the Most Exciting Time for Music! Ever!!!

Sometimes I wish I were not the kind of person who finds overly effusive promotions entertaining, but there it is. Today's delightful example is from NewMusicBox, our source for a lot of oddly uninteresting oddities. Why the 21st Century is the Most Exciting Time for Music. In terms of sheer quantity and variety, you betcha! But let's read a bit of why Frank Oteri thinks so:
For listeners, there’s more music to hear than ever before–and it’s happening all over the world. Of course, it always has, but nowadays, it’s not limited to “national” “styles.” Also, global travel has become much more convenient, relatively speaking, and so with enough time, money, and overzealousness, a fanatical fan could actually trek the globe to hear extremely exciting music every day of the year. Much easier, we now can also experience a great deal of music happening in all these places without leaving our homes. And when we do, we can keep listening on our smartphones! Since music from literally any place and time can now be equally with us in the here and now, the once seemingly impenetrable dichotomies of domestic vs. foreign, new vs. old, and us vs. them have become completely porous and ultimately meaningless. It is all equally ours to enjoy, as well as to be the source of inspiration for our own creative impulses.
Ok, let me translate that into MusicSalonSpeak: "Wow, and, wow!" He goes on:
As interpreters and creators, we can literally do anything we want. In such an environment, it is no longer possible to be out of step with the zeitgeist. We no longer should feel stifled by so many of the other binaries that used to divide us aesthetically–e.g. old-fashioned vs. out-in-left-field, traditional vs. avant-garde, non-commercial vs. popular.
Ah, now there is something we can mull over. "We can literally do anything we want." Show up on time to play the concert--or not! Practice the repertoire--or not! Work out that tricky middle bit--or not! Hmm, this doesn't sound like a very good principle to be following. But hey, anything to be able to stop worrying about being out of step with the zeitgeist! Plus, being stifle-free in re "the binaries" is just so cool. I gather that the important thing is to shuffle off everything that smacks of discipline or differences or distinctions between things. In this state of, well, extreme laxitude, we interpreters and creators no longer have any particular responsibilities so, you know, don't expect us to deliver much of actual quality at our performances.

It's probably just me, but I kind of prefer those artists who worry about impenetrable dichotomies like "good" and "bad" and strive for the former:

1 comment:

Marc Puckett said...

The writer didn't think so much about his writing, alas. How can he seriously be asserting that one cannot be 'out of step' with the Zeitgeist? gosh. Shaking my head.