Friday, September 05, 2014

What if it's really avant-garde and rubs me the wrong way?


Defending the decision to cut new music from television relays of Proms, a BBC spokesperson has explained that: "...the Proms team and the commissioning editor have to bear in mind the audience and that newer works are often less familiar to them". Which reminds me of the following passage from Jesse G.L. Stewart's biographical quest R. Murray Schafer and the Plot to Save the Planet.
The conductor, Kazuhiro Koizumi, takes to the stage. From the audience's reaction, it's clear that conductors enjoy celebrity status in Japan. I'm interested to see how this conductor will handle Murray's music. And how will I handle it? I was moved by his music in last summer's forest production but Murray's symphonic work is new to me. I like classical music but what if it's really avant-garde and rubs me the wrong way? What would I say about it? What would I say to Murray about it? I suspend my worry and remind myself of words once spoken to me by a teacher, "Never listen to a piece of music for the first time".
Header photo was taken by me during a 2011 performance of Louis Andriessen's Workers Union by Aldeburgh Young Musicians at Snape and first appeared in Louis Andriessen in the sky with diamonds. Any other copyrighted material is included as "fair use", for the purpose of critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Also on Facebook and Twitter.

1 comment:

Michael Bettine said...

This is ironic, as living in the States, I recall hearing music by both John Cage and Iannis Xenakis during past Proms broadcasts. Perhaps I should thank the BBC from saving us actually having to think while listening…