Observation: what is new (music)?

All sorts of asses ‘love’ poetry. Why not? It confirms them in the assininity of their deepest beliefs. It underlies the racial laziness, the unwillingness to think, the satisfaction of feeling oneself part of the race and of having all posterity behind one in proneness and stupidity. This is what is inherent in most ‘love’ of poetry.

A smooth, lying meter that nostalgically carries them back to sleep is what they want. That’s why for a living, changing people only the new poetry is truly safe, truly worth reading. And that is why it is opposed by the best people—the intellectually deepest bogged—as if it were the devil himself.

—William Carlos Williams, “Note: The American Language and the New Poetry, so called” (1931?)

Replace “poetry” with “music” and 1931 with 2014.

The situation in music is now even worse, Mr. Williams. American Music that is truly worth listening to has been gradually silenced but it is out there. This unheard music is neither academic nor audience-needy but it is off the radar—literally outside of the box. What is being paraded around as American music in all types of music spaces around the country and recordings, by all forms of ensembles is an audience-needy music described as hip, cool and other such words usually saved for the marketing of populist musics (products) that cradles a supposedly intelligent audience back to sleep; exactly what a somnambulant audience has been clamoring for over many decades (with easily accommodating ensembles and organizations including universities and schools of music) that demands music not to be taken seriously, with a plethora of composers waiting in the wings to fulfill this nightmare.

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About Mark Gustavson

I am a composer of unconventional music.
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