Light, white and right is trending

Prince Charles would doubtless approve. Light, white and right - 1 is here.

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Andrew Morris said…
He does seem to be having a little trouble with the tune and the rhythm...
Pliable said…
But no trouble with avoiding tax -
They do seem to have "transmission" down, though. Would enjoy knowing your thoughts on what's being transmitted here and how, compared to an excellent performance of one of your favorite classical, or world, pieces. Is there a hierarchy of artistic content and audience response? Is there any overlap between what goes on at Glastonbury and at Snape Maltings?
Pliable said…
Thanks for that Lyle, it probably needs an epic post to answer your questions but I will try briefly here.

There is almost total overlap between what goes on at Glastonbury and at Snape Maltings. At these venues, and countless others around the world, great music can make a connection and change lives. The only hierarchies of artistic or audience response are those determined by the ability of the music to connect.

But in rock as in classical Bálint Varga’s question of "How far can one speak of a personal style and where does self-repetition begin?” applies. The enemy of transmission is self-repetition, and commercial agendas and the cult of the personality have turned self-repetition into a virus that is eating at the heart of all forms of music today.

Geographical location means Snape is less vulnerable to the self-repetition virus simply because it is not a stopping point on the ‘London today Edinburgh tomorrow’ tours by the leading ensembles that so effectively kill transmission. Similarly world music does not yet have the equivalent of the ‘stadium circuit’ that is covering so much rock and classical music in what Wilhelm Furtwängler called the “hoar frost of routine”.

Others are much better placed to judge rock music than me. But it seems that U2 have caught the self-repetition virus in much the same way that many leading figures in the classical world have. Here is a quote from the Independent’s Glastonbury review:

“Glastonbury: Coldplay and U2 almost spoil the party… U2's controversial headlining set on Friday proved the festival's unique requirements and possibilities, by falling so far short of them… Bono's struggles to engage in a show he clearly felt to be both important and very far from his stadium-rock comfort zone was far more fascinating. This seasoned star, who has played to far bigger crowds than even the Pyramid Stage, was nervous, his voice strained and weak throughout. On the a capella assault on "Jerusalem" which was his main attempt to reach out for some Glastonbury-shaped version of old Albion, he sounded desperately ragged, a man flailing towards a shore destined to stay out of reach”.
I do not know if you are aware of this,Pl, but in Gaelic Bono means"self righteous Bullshit artist" there anything more lame then white guys ripping off black musicians,poorly? Yes,multi- millionaires telling me I need to give money for starving kids.I remember when musicians had a conscience.It seems an eternity ago...
Pliable said…
Well, I guess that nails it in one...
Pliable -

Thanks so much for that response. I agree with you that, "great music can make a connection and change lives."

I'm not completely sure about, "The only hierarchies of artistic or audience response are those determined by the ability of the music to connect."

If you're at all familiar with AC Douglas, you'll know he's big on aesthetic hierarchy. ". . . the popular culture and high culture artifacts inhabit two separate aesthetic realms. . ." and that "transcendence" is what makes the difference.

My intuition is that "transcendence" can mean different things to different people. What's transcendent and therapeutic for one can be boring to another. For some of the people at that concert and comments on the video you put up, what the reviewer found "desperately ragged" was for them a transcendent experience.

It's a knotty problem I've never felt I've gotten to the bottom of, whether the transcendent experience ACD can have listening to Wagner is anything like a transcendent experience a U2 fan being on the front row for that concert might experience.

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