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Split personality. Liking the arts, especially opera, and hockey and Los Toros. I know, I know THAT one is non pc currently. But I can't help it saw some in Spain and got hooked, but good. But on the other hand right now opera and hockey are in the forefront!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Artful Tuesday

Do You chers readers believe that classical music could be envious of the visual and tactile arts?
Since Better Half and I go to MOFAH often and see the crowds there,  
this question popped into my mind recently.
Thousands throng to Art Museums, gallery openings, and exhibits of stuff..
 but only few attend modern (Schoenberg etal)  concerts and operas. 
Can a comparison even be made? 

Maybe not, because the art world today isn't really like today's musical world.  "Artists" who create a type of art that would be accessible (mentally and fiscally) might be largely self-taught. Their works might be popular one year, but sunk into oblivion the next.  And yet, these artists may be wealthy. They may have fan-zines, be pursued by papparazzi, become famous as talking heads :-)!
Have their own reality shows - LOL!

It's rather true, in music our world appears utterly dominated by what some may call deviant genre -
acid rock, heavy metal, rap, country etc. all presented by ever more outrageously clad - or not clad - performers with voices heavily augmented even completely changed by digital techniques!
True vocal talent is not necessary, methinks. Other talents - sure!
The 'classics' and their so-called inheritors of the classical tradition, have already or may soon become totally unimportant in our today's culture. What culture, you may ask ;-)?
So how come that music ends up in such poor straights?  
Educated people (yes Virginia - these are elitist thoughts) of the past saw equal benefits in attending art museums and concert halls. A rounded education including art, music and literature was seen as the necessary cornerstone for a life! But slowly the Classics became immovably THE classics and any attempts to widen the field was resisted by the fans. Then.
Take JAZZ. This musical form became quite sophisticated and popular after some humble beginnings.
Jazz flourished despite classical music lovers contempt for it. Then.
Now it appears that it, too, has to contend with the same diffidence that the classics encounter.
It is no longer considered a truly popular art form.  It has become 'highbrow' seemingly surviving only through financial support by foundations, arts councils and private entities. As do Opera, Symphony, Chamber Music and such-if lucky. Vide reports about orchestras going bankrupt, opera companies shutting door, recently.

"Highbrow art"- may it be the 'classics' or 'jazz' - becomes of lesser and lesser importance as the 'popular music' turns out to be economically very successful and widespread via the web and other means. And it is this kind of music most people mean when they say "music".
Classic 'modern' music is despised/misunderstood by conservative listeners even more than 'popular music'.
"I can hum popular music, but I can't do that with 'that modern stuff" is heard in the streets.

In opera to me at least, it seems that Mr and Ms. J. Q. Public goes to the movies, watches overabundant TV and has less and lesser imagination.  Everything is pre-chewed for their easy consumption.
In the past Pavarotti and Caballé, etal came on stage, stood still, sang like Gods or Goddesses and everyone was happy.  Today, well...everything must be like a reality show! Duh, really!
Could the reason contemporary art stays en vogue be because there is no true popular alternative?
Could art photography take its place? I don't know.
With digital cameras that almost do everything....
what IS art photography today?
Do people really love modern art? 
Or are most simply too afraid to admit they have no clue what 'modern art' is all about?
I do include art critics in that statement - none want to be seen as pedestrian or philistine or worse, proletarian, when it comes to art - any kind of art.
So they rant and rave, use obscure words of praise in description, but say....little, really.
Do I have to like stuff scattered on the floor?
As so many may...gullible souls!
Well,  I don't - so does that make me what :-).
Some of us still do think as individuals.
And not as lemmings streaming to their death following a 'charismatic' leader!

Hmm,  that one at least has some 'humor' - I think :-) although...
But then 'modern' artist could care less as long as Mr. and Ms. Public show up at galleries to buy, right?

There is an old saying from the bible and perhaps should serve as a warning:
 "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall"

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