16 August 2009

Two Sides of Sundry Coins

Discover a blog which is new to you; you get a good think out of one post; not surprisingly, you find more posts to like.

Thus, as I have this very morning chanced upon http://angryorganist.blogspot.com/ (headed This Blog Will Change the World) — and it happens that the post I did chance upon was of last-month vintage — true to expectations, I have found more of interest. [ link ]

The angryorganist blogger links to Daniel Wolf on http://renewablemusic.blogspot.com/, where Mr Wolf comments:

It is difficult, very difficult, when the music one makes and loves does not make others happy.
He goes on with other, conditioning remarks, certainly worth consideration. I cannot help (in Mark Twain’s phrase) girding up my loins to doubt a seeming implication of this opening sentence. It just strikes me as an unnecessarily impossible reduction; it clearly relates to situations most any composer has experienced, for instance. But even just taking it for the comment of a listener-enthusiast (altering for the purpose of discussion the music one makes and loves to the music one loves): the fact that the music is out there, available, means that there are others endorsing the music to some degree.

Having said that the statement seems an unnecessarily impossible reduction, of course, I haven’t walked in Mr Wolf’s moccasins, and perhaps this is simply faithful reportage on his account. Difficult, very difficult, that would be, indeed; I have been spared any such full difficulty (so far), mercifully. Many of my pieces have puzzled some listeners or some several listeners (sometimes even my closest and most sympathetic hearers); but in almost all cases there were other listeners (some of them fellow performers, fellow composers) who approved. [There should probably follow a consideration of the question of approval, but no time at present.]

Osbert Parsley, our angryorganist (sounds like a pseudonym to me, but — you never know), then appends a story of his own experience (far from rare) as a parish organist unable to please either end of the range.

Mr Parsley opens, though, with a summary of Mr Wolf’s post:

[T]he life of the creative artist: some people will never like your work, no matter what you do. Move on.
This is wisdom.

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