Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Queries and Creation

QUADRE Queries
One of things that fascinates me is how we interpret our world. It seems that there as many perspectives as people on the planet. There are certainly tastemakers that influence our views, but by in large, I feel we each have a source of worldly insight that is unique given our upbringing, milieu, and experience.

For this reason, asking questions about the horn and music seem like a great opportunity to see some of those perspectives come to light. One of the pages on our ensemble's website is dedicated to these questions and answers. It is our QUADRE Queries page. For a laugh check it out here. And I pose a challenge to each of you - think of a question you'd like some perspective on and ask ten people independently. At the very least, it should provide a sense of connection between you and these ten individuals. At the most, you'll gain insights into your character and theirs. Good luck!

Composing for the Masses
Success is in the eye of the beholder. We live in a world where one hit wonders abound. Where the latest and greatest artists on the pop circuit today, may be a distant memory tomorrow. With these high peaks and deep valleys, how does a modern day "classical" composer function?

My first thought as one of those aforementioned composers is to just compose whatever comes to mind and disregard the establishment. However, I think that if one takes this approach a lot of opportunities can be missed. For example, a local brass quintet may want or better yet, need, a new piece for their concert. Do you turn down the work based on the fact that you're in the thick of constructing your requiem?

On the other hand, I think that bowing continually to societal pressures and composing what you think people will want is a recipe for artistic failure as well. While the monetary rewards may be great, I think taking such an approach can prevent the composer from finding their voice and establishing their style.

I think there can be a wonderful compromise in the middle that doesn't impinge upon a composer's aesthetics and allows them to be flexible to their artistic climate. What do I speak of? Why, the village bard of course!

These qualities seem central to the village bard's repertoire:

1. Finding the connections between their art and the community
2. Free expression of their thoughts and feelings
3. Learning to move on if the present crowd isn't into their style

The world has become so large, why not simplify it by bringing back the village bard. I'm all for it. Let the strings be strum.

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