I could not event tell you the name of his person or his vocation. When I clicked this meme on Facebook, I found out. However, I disagree with this meme.
We cannot get away from hearing pop culture unless we are deaf. Still, I would say this: "I have never "intentionally" heard any of this man's work.
As I get older, my ears are getting more sensitive to noise. My tastes in music have narrowed down to mostly classical, baroque, jazz and some singer-songwriter/folk, and sometimes rock from the 70's. I do not intentionally listen to rap, hip hop, modern country, or mostly stuff on the radio.
On a slightly different note: Artists who perform music which is less familiar to me are not necessarily less talented than those artists who work within the genres of my liking.
I used to judge and make fun of the talent of artists whom I find offensive such as Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus. One of the things I am practicing now is to stop being judgmental. Yes, the public behaviour of some artists is unacceptable. Yet, people often refer behaviour and talent to the same thing when forming opinions of musicians who perform music they dislike and proclaim that they are not talented. I may not like their music, their lyrics, their opinions or their behaviour. Still, I must acknowledge that there is talent there whether I value it or not.
If I devalue any artist by making fun of his or her work I may devalue the opinions of those around me and perhaps even some of my friends who may absolutely love the musician’s creations.
On the other hand, would we want to support badly behaving artists? Would we listen to less than kind lyrics? Do we want to support a rapper, Kanye West, who is arrogant, known for his outrageous statements, and who publically humiliates other artists in front of their peers at award shows? ("Kanye West." Bio. A&E Television Networks, 2015. Web. 07 Jan. 2015.)
How about misogyny or generally creepy behaviour toward women; do we support artists associated with these opinions and actions? What about drunkenness, drug-taking, backstabbing, casual adultery and chronic indebtedness that we know attends the lives of so many people who make unquestionably good art.
The public behaviour or the perception of the person does not affect his or her performance. The artist may even be revered. But then, you discover he or she has three toes and he or she likes to throw spaghetti at people. And you do not like people who have three toes and who like to throw spaghetti at people. Does your support dwindle? The fact is the more artists confirm to what we find is publically and socially acceptable the more we appreciate their art.
No performing artist can exist if they have no audience. When we find out something dodgy, see negative exhibited behaviour, or perhaps learn about horrible truths of a performer – our appreciation of that artist’s live performance will be tainted and our appreciation for them will be diminished. Yet, what about their past creations?
There is a difference between "living" art and "created art". Living art involves a performance that requires an audience. Created art can be enduring and can continue across time.
Richard Wagner was a great composer in the 1800's - but also a virulent anti-Semite. Wagner added to Das Judentum in der Musik when it was republished - with his own name on the title page - in 1869. "Wagner actually addresses the Jews, by saying, ‘Remember that one thing alone can redeem you from the curse which weighs upon you: the redemption of Ahasverus - destruction!' Wagner was not literally calling for the destruction of the Jews, since in the same breath he is offering them redemption. What Wagner was suggesting, in theatrical language, is that Jews should rid themselves of their Judaism.” Mourby, Adian. "Can We Forgive Him?" (Guardian.co.uk. The Guardian, 21 July 2000. Web. 7 Jan. 2015)
Nevertheless, Wagner’s thoughts of the Jewish faith and traditions were immoral. So, why do many people listen to his musical creations today?
I question: Can music be anti-Semitic? I can understand it can be - through its context that could be a distasteful parody or racist text. But how can a chord or sequence of chords be anti-Semitic?
Art continues across time. Perhaps the “creation” one has made is the important thing.
Can good people create great art? There are countless artists who seemingly lead decent, morally upstanding lives, who don't insult other artists, slur certain groups of people, or even cheat on their taxes.
How can we support good art from badly behaving artists?
This is what I have come up with while struggling to justify this reality:
Richard Wagner, who is known primarily for his monumental four -opera cycle "Der Ring des Nibelungen", has created something through interpretation. But, he is not in front of us. That distances us, the audience, from the creator; and we are appreciating now what is created in the past and not the creator. At a live performance we cannot distance ourselves from the performer. We cannot distance ourselves from today's living performing artists.
In spite of his controversial behaviour and comments Kanye West, rapper, singer, and producer contributed to the success of many artists. This musician scored five consecutive platinum albums, 21 Grammy awards, and four solo number one albums. There has to be some talent there! " (Kanye West." Bio. A&E Television Networks, 2015. Web. 07 Jan. 2015.)
As for me, I will now go back and continue to listen to Siegfried Act III prelude in Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen.
Keep the Love. Live the Music (any music that you love)
Cheers ~ Mossy
853 4th St. East,
Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada
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