15. February 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: Birthdays!

A bit of Nixon in China:

… and my all time favorite, from Doctor Atomic:

15. February 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: Read Online

Lucas attends the Special Music School at the Kaufmann Center (in his letter he says that he goes to the Lucy Moses School, which occupies the same building). He writes that he adores music and offers two lists: “THE TEN GREATEST COMPOSERS AND: THE ONES I LIKE BEST.” He clearly understands the difference between all-time greats and personal favorites — quite impressive for an 8-year-old.

I wouldn’t have the same list as he does, but I LOVE the letter. Eight years old? Cool!

You have to read it! Really.

I also like going to art galleries and I recently discovered classical music so I went to see the London Philharmonic do Stravinsky’s Rites Of Spring. It was amazing and it blew me away.

-Keira Knightley

I read it here.

I use twitter, and I do enjoy it. Some seem to think it’s the end-all, though, and I’m not going there.

Recently there’s been a big “#DWG” thread. On twitter anything that begins with the pound (or number) sign is a hashtag that you can then click on and follow #DWG stands for “Dead White Guys” and it’s about the composers that so many love to hate. Or at least think should be put to rest. Some Tweetfolk were whining because new music is ignored and #DWG music is played over and over. Some composers on Twitter are disgruntled because their music isn’t being played. Some women — as well as their male cheerleaders — are complaining because they are underrepresented.

So they are grumbling. A lot. I understand their complaints, and I hope that more new music and more women composers will be represented in our programs. A good dialogue about these things is not a bad thing.

But when it moved to certain things I did get frustrated. Here’s a bit of a “conversation”:

[twitter ID removed]: Donors are more interested in the act of going to concerts than new music. #DWG

I responded with this:

That seems like a huge blanket statement to me. #DWG

To which the young writer replied:

#DWG No doubt, but I feel that sociologically, it’s true. Most donors know comparatively little about music, but…

…they like going to concerts. When they go, they expect the concert to sound like “classical” music.

I saw more tweets that were mainly putting down anyone who doesn’t care for more contemporary music. It seemed to become a we know better and everyone else is an idiot sort of thing. It seems were mostly just taking glee in being annoyed. Or something.

I haven’t joined in much since then. Earlier I had been involved, suggesting that there were a number of issues that caused this older music to be performed. But I’m not sure people are listening as much as spouting off their own thoughts. And maybe I’m the same.

In fact, here are just some random thoughts ‐ these aren’t absolute “truths” but just what I believe to be true ‐ I’ll toss out safely on my little blog (most Twitterfolk don’t read this thing):

  • People frequently like music that they are comfortable with.
  • Older music often makes people very comfortable.
  • There is nothing wrong with being comfortable.
  • People sometimes are pleasantly surprised by music they thought they wouldn’t like.
  • People sometimes hate music they thought they wouldn’t like, but it might stretch them a bit.
  • There is nothing wrong with being stretched every so often.
  • If all people hear is music that causes discomfort they’ll give up on a group.
  • Attempting to stretch the audience all the time will probably cause problems.
  • It’s true that some (NOT ALL!) donors prefer older music.
  • And money does talk, whether we like it or not.
  • We need generous donors.
  • Appreciating donors is a good thing.
  • Making fun of donors is a bad thing.
  • Younger people aren’t as likely to donate money.
  • Doing newer music is costly for reasons other than possible loss of audience and donors.
  • Older music is often already in our symphony music libraries. Cost is minimal.
  • Contemporary music is rental only and can be incredibly costly.

This last point is not often thought about by the general public, as so many are unaware of costs involved. Rental music can be expensive. Sometimes we can’t even rent something because the publisher won’t let us. We are charged for the number of performances and amount of rental time required (music must be sent out early enough to get bowings done, and this isn’t just a week long process!) and sometimes also charged on the organization’s operating budget; it’s not just a flat fee. When we did a ballet I learned that we were charged a rental fee based on the size of the house as well as number of performances and rental time necessary.

So there are a number of issues. And I’m sure I’m not even hitting all them. Nor am I able to come up with good answers for the problems. Sorry … just tossing out the issues and then I come up pretty empty for answers. Typical me!

I’m not saying I don’t think orchestras should not attempt to do more new music, but these days we are all having to be cautious. Have you seen the number of orchestras that have cut back a lot or died completely?

But, mostly, what I was getting frustrated with was the arrogance of some people who tweet. Some appear to have great disdain for the wealthy. It feels as if they look down their noses at the #DWG. I feel as if they think they know a lot more than some of us who have been doing this for a lot of years. And yes, I am careful to say this is how they appear to me. I could easily be misreading. I do that a lot! But what are they doing other than tweeting about it? I’m really not sure. I hope they are donating money. I hope they are promoting new music and women composers in a worthwhile way. Twitter might cause some to wake up, but I don’t believe it will change the music business. (Of course maybe I’m wrong; some seem to give Twitter and Facebook all the credit for the change in Egypt. Hmm.)

It appears that the #DWG topic is dying down now … I wonder what we’ll all move on to next.

Okay … this is a rather discombobulated pattyramble™. But hey, at least I wrote something. I’ve been rather bad about actually doing some thinking here recently.

15. February 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: FBQD

“We could fight about oboe vs. saxophone forever, but you know who will win at the end of the day? The bassoon. And that’s just the truth.” – Behold the stupidest thing I’ve said all day.

So Beautiful, sung by Trudbol & Kartiv2, an a cappella multitrack collab

15. February 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: TQOD

I play da oboe letz start a musical classical band

15. February 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: For Your Listening Enjoyment, Opera

… back to opera tonight, after having yesterday off, it does seem as if I should post another Barber of Seville selection, yes? :-)

Gotta love Woody Woodpecker!