The ADHD world of Art Music

I was listening to some "new" music the other day, several different composers presenting their version of new music. Most of them seemed to want to harken back to the neo-romantic era with sweeping melodies and lush harmonies. Other's tried to create something new by introducing new and unique ways to torture the instruments (and the audience). The problem wasn't that the "new" sounds weren't interesting; it's that the composers left little for the audience to remember, or so thoroughly drenched in it our minds wandered off mid piece and so, too, these pieces failed to impress.

Why is it composers feel we either need to present 1000 different ideas and not let anything be repeated, lest it become stale and boring, OR they feel they the wheel worked so good for the romantic composers they repaint it and present it as a new wheel, when it's obvious to everyone it's not.

Yes, as a composer, I struggle to find something new, retaining enough of my musical heritage to reference the past yet still be unique. But is our society so ADHD that we can't linger on something new long enough to enjoy it, or that we have to have it so pounded at us we can't forget it? (and yet, rebel so against the onslaught that we actually do forget it)


Susan Scheid said…
You make an interesting point, and I'm curious to know who you're listening to that leads you to make this comment.
Chip Michael said…
Susan -

It's difficult to post names about living/working artists with these types of comments because the classical music industry is small and enemies can haunt you for years to come. I get flack already for my opinions about modern compositions without actually naming anyone.

Because I am a Masters student, many of the concerts I hear are sponsored in part by the university, so it is music they want me to listen to. Naming someone might reflect poorly on the artist's relationship with the university.


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