Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Bring it on!

The ever-observant Robert Gable of Aworks links to a commentary thread on the recent US Democratic debates with this comment:
"The podiums are whisked away and it's a nice friendly sit-down between three candidates who want to chew each other's guts out." Wouldn't it be great if composers had the same kind of debates?
I'm all in favor of putting our disputes out in the open -- at the moment, we pretend in public as if there are no controversies and let those in positions of power manage our disputes through the quiet backroom processes of handing out scholarships, jobs, awards, and commissions. The illusion of harmonious getting along for getting along's sake contribute, however, to the false public impression that there is no heat, no passion, no action, and no innovation in our field. This is bad for the public life of our music. Simultaneously, the reduction of debate to the distribution of our pitiful spoils is bad for the life of the music itself, not to mention the livelihoods of those eclipsed by any local or temporal orthodoxy.

So, yes, let's have some public gut-chewing, or at least some verbal fisticuffs, for a change. I can imagine a couple of composer-on-composer forensic pairings that would make a presidential debate or a bloggingheads episodes look like a walk hand-in-hand through a field of daisies. Bring it on!

1 comment:

Thomas D said...

I think the nearest thing we could musically wish for is competing piano improv/short piece recitals.
Along the lines of the Bach-Marchand summit (that, though, never happened). Or competitive jazz piano sessions.

Of course it needn't necessarily be piano either...