Friday, February 24, 2006

Bad Music

So MUCH of my day is spent making sure that the music is right--the best it can be. Because of this, some of my friends found it interesting that I am not outraged by bad music.

From an essay I wrote for web publication elsewhere:

My Two Cents:

1) Almost every artist begins his journey with a fascination or innate love for a certain type of expression (writing, painting, playing guitar, etc..). The relationship grows as the nascent artist seeks and finds more examples of the thing that he is attracted to.

2) At some point, the artist becomes aware of the value of the art, apart from it's intrinsic attraction--money, social status.

Here's where the rubber meets the road. I don't think it matters which comes first. I'll go further, and say that unless an artist values both relationships (commerce and doing it for the love), the world will most likely never find out about his art.

If an artist is doing it PURELY for the love, or PURELY for the money, most likely he will never connect with a large audience. We may think that doing it for pure love is great, but to paint masterpieces and store them away, or destroy them, doesn't complete the 'cycle of communication' that finalizes all art (which is really a form of meta communication). Ditto for doing it just for the money--bad, derivative works or at best immature and shallow work, offered up for all to worship (pay for) are 9.999 times out of ten, ignored or laughed at.

That leaves the median work bounded by masterpieces and schlock. In the middle, the top of the bell curve, is so-so art.

As artists we feel outrage that our masterpieces, the art that defines us and helps us meta-communicate transcendent messages, should share ANY common ground, or even a boundary, with that commercial driven pap that pretends to be high art.

My feeling is that we should ignore it if it doesn't speak to us. If the best that the sheeple can do is to bob their head to Brittney, then we can lament what that may mean about the world, but it is only a reflection of something that has always been and will always be: a mass of people who inhabit the lowest common denominator.

I am not going to waste any time identifying bad art for what it is, or lamenting the sheeple's lack of taste or inability to discriminate. I'm going to keep working on the pearls, not be disappointed when the swine ignore them, and continue to identify, support, and be moved by those doing the same. And if, along that journey, I happen to bob my head to some Brittney for a moment, I hope that I can feel a bit of fellowship with those who might never know better, but have at least found a bit of entertainment in their journey in life.


Anonymous Jeff said...

This is one of the most intelligent thoughts on this subject I've read. No shock coming from you, Dan.

2:04 PM  

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