Saturday, 29 July 2017

Seductive nitwit bubble

How do (post-)modernist ideologies perpetuate themselves in these days of shifting paradigmas, in spite of the deplorable aesthetics of their composing practitioners? And in spite of the indifference of audiences, and the dangers of chasing them away? And in total ignorance of the negative effects on the reputation of both the central performance culture and new music in general, thereby working against the attempts to restore the art form, and its meaning? The answer is clear: by paying budding talents: the BBC has taken steps to protect the ideology from the reality of concert life.

On 28th of July, the well-known music website 'Slipped Disc' published the following information:

The promising Mark Simpson, composer in residence with the BBC Philharmonic, has been signed by Intermusica.

He also plays clarinet and conducts.

Bio: Born in Liverpool in 1988, Simpson won both BBC Young Musician of the Year and BBC Proms/Guardian Young Composer of the Year in 2006. He went on to read Music at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford, graduating with first class honours, and studied composition with Julian Anderson at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Simpson was a BBC New Generation Artist from 2012-2014.

Intermusica is a music management and the registration will be, presumably, for clarinet and conducting - what could an agent do for composers?

Apart from aesthetics, this chap is certainly a talented young composer. But with quite mixed-up ideas, like this pretentious flop:

This is much better, an angstridden, Scriabinesque attempt to write Romantic Music in the Grand Manner, with enough chaos and irregularities put into the score to be acceptable for the contemporary music establishment as ‘new music’:

One can hear that the guy has understood that there is something like music, other than sonic art, because it peeps through the frightened sonic mist at places:

He also writes opera, and understands the value of contemporary, trendy subjects, so that audiences can understand what is going on and fully identify with the themes – both in the plot and the music, which is so very much harder with Mozart, Wagner and Verdi:

The British musical establishment did not waste time to press this young, promising talent to its breast, to prevent it from developing ideas of his own and (God forbid!) leaving half a century of clich├ęs behind.

I find this really sad - can such young man only be the product of convention and add nr 1,000 of all the artless variations to the bulk of ephemeral negation of the art form? The type of success he enjoys, is created by the establishment, not by the real concert practice. Programmers duly follow ideological advise, incapable of independent musical judgement, lemming-like, and damage their own interests and the goodwill of their audiences, who will stay away the next time they see 'Simpson' on the programme.

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