Thursday, April 30, 2015

Primal stream


My recent post Music of things was adroitly distilled by Alex Ross and tweeted onwards. Which prompts me to return to a 2011 post on the same theme which arrogantly contemporized a celebrated teaching of Benjamin Britten. Disruptive technology has moved on in the last four years, so here is a new version of that teaching on the primal stream:
Anyone, anywhere, at any time can listen to the B minor Mass upon one condition only - that they subscribe to a music streaming service. No qualification is required of any sort - faith, virtue, education, experience, age. Thanks to the internet music is now free for all. If I say music streaming is the principal enemy of music, I don't mean that I am not grateful to it as a means of education or study. But it is not part of true musical experience. Regarded as such it is simply a substitute, and dangerous because deluding. Music demands more from a listener than a Wi-Fi connection. It demands some preparation, some effort, a journey to a special place, saving up for a ticket, some homework on the programme perhaps, some clarification of the ears and sharpening of the instincts. It demands as much effort on the listener's part as the other two corners of the triangle, this holy triangle of composer, performer and listener.
Header image is sampled from Edvard Munch's The Scream, which was used on the cover of the 1977 Abacus edition of Arthur Janov's book The Primal Scream. Any copyrighted material is included as "fair use" for critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Also on Facebook and Twitter.

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