Noting the downside
In conversation with a musical friend today I realised yet again, but
from a different vantage point, how minute are the inflexions within the
general stylistic advance of composition. We talked of composers of our
generation who have either receded in the musical public's awareness, or
-- which is decidedly the rarer -- managed to find a balance between frequency
of performance and critical approval of what is being presented.
The genuinely creative artist-composer is in possession of both a flow
of raw material and the counterbalance of technical precision from which
a new piece for performance is created. The last century was born into the
development of Impressionism, and has recently departed to the hubbub of
countless isms. It all represents the diversity of progress and the understandable
confusion of some who crave a methodical route march. How exciting when
the object chooses its own path into our lives and manner of presentation.
In certain ways the human capture of the elusive bird spells, if not
disenchantment, the dispiriting atmosphere of routine, an absence of the
one ingredient that transforms normality to ecstacy. Some find ecstacy an
embarrassing encroachment upon the well-ordered living of average people.
Which at least leaves each of us plenty of options.
My musical friend departed my company with no inkling of the thoughts
that subsequently hijacked this space. We all create them, usually out of
interaction with other people. My sadness in retrospect is the wonderful
possibilities presented to us by this interaction, only to vanish into forgetfulness
from our 'busyness' with daily routine.
Copyright © 26 July 2001 Basil Ramsey,
Eastwood, Essex, UK
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