This is a brief post to highlight the gist of three articles having to do with challenging assumptions, and a very important fourth thing – we offer a new video in honor of the Feast of the Assumption (and another significant major holiday known to the cognoscenti) August 15, 2011.
First, typically provocative words quoted from a famously opinionated fiddler in this quote from the amusing article Nigel Kennedy accuses fellow violinists of destroying Bach’s legacy,
by Dalya Alberge and published in the Guardian, Saturday 13 August 2011.
“Even the description of oneself as being ‘authentic’ is unbelievably arrogant – and, in the case of so-called ‘period’ performance, misguided. How can music … be authentic if it is stripped of passion and made into an exercise of painfully self-conscious technique?”
We assume that passion in performance is a hallmark of authenticity but it need not be over the top. Each performer should make his or her own choices.
Item number two is an article highlighting a book by Robert Levine, How the internet has all but destroyed the market for films, music and newspapers , which offers some insights on how technology companies are diverting the streams of revenue away from the usual distributors and artists.
“The Pirate Bay never tried to release better music than EMI – it just distributed the same music in a way that didn’t provide any compensation for its creators.”
The assumption that music should be freely distributed is effectively pulling the rug out from under the creators of music as we have mentioned earlier on this blog.
Thirdly, the article The Elusive Big Idea By Neal Gabler, published August 13, 2011 in the New York Times, shatters assumptions of the value placed today on innovative thinking.
“If our ideas seem smaller nowadays, it’s not because we are dumber than our forebears but because we just don’t care as much about ideas as they did. In effect, we are living in an increasingly post-idea world — a world in which big, thought-provoking ideas that can’t instantly be monetized are of so little intrinsic value that fewer people are generating them and fewer outlets are disseminating them, the Internet notwithstanding. Bold ideas are almost passé.”
A post-idea world? That hurts.
Finally, August 15th marks the Feast of the Assumption. We offer this video as a tribute: http://youtu.be/B2xbL43CwZQ