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This 52 message thread spans 4 pages:  < <   1   2   3  [4] 
  Re: I look briefly for a topic like this but its about demos  bmh at 16:52 on 06 May 2008

Here it is... just by chance I had an open window sitting on that page from earlier - so I'll repost it for you. If you actually want to get rid of this post or edit it just let me know.

...hmmm... somehow the last paragraph of your original post disappeared. I don't know what happened there, honestly.

This is Misuc's mysteriously vanished post:

Goodness me! He keeps on going and then keeps on coming back for encores! I think if the site administrator had wanted members to submit a CV before being allowed to express an opinion, he would have said so.
Q: Do I have a problem?
A: Yes. Sure I do. I have great ambitions as a composer, not all of which I am entirely able to fulfill.I will not cheat. I have sworn that every note i write (and there have been millions of them) should have a significance in affecting the form and nature of the piece etc.
Q. OK. Is this anybody else's business?
A. No. Of course not.
Q. Have you claimed it was anybody else's business?
A. No.
Q. But you keep on blaming other people!
A. Not for my problems.
Q. So you've got problems....
A. [...haven't we all?....]
Q. [....there's no problems for those who can't see them....] .... and you try to take it out on people who have achieved more than you.
A. No. I solve my problems by composing. I have honoured many wonderful composers who have achieved much more than me: you just didn't happen to pick up their names when you googled 'Julian Silverman' I have even praised Aaron Cassidy himself, but there have been many many more.....
Q. But still - you do bitch a lot, don't you?
A. I hate bullshit. The contemporary music scene is full of soundbite bullshitters, who can't tell the difference between PR and aesthetic goals: composers of little knowledge or experience of any kind of real music, of no interest in their fellow human beings and even less sensitivity....
Q. So you're not like that then?
A. No, I'm not.
Q. Prove it.
A. I can't prove it. But read what I write and judge for yourself.
Q. I have, and I still think you're bullshitting.
A. OK. What do you want me to do?
Q. Tell me what you've ever done!

The above is a cleaned-up and more rational version of the 'controversy' between bmh and me.

Here are just a few of the things I have done:

I have run community workshops and creative projects at the Montpelier Community centres/festivals (e.g. organised, conducted, run and performed in improvisation projects with local children. a world music/jazz band, a Klezmer band (my arrangements, of course) a wind ensemble, a Classical Orchestra etc.) This Community Centre closed down of course, due to the 'cultural/economic system' (bmh's phrase) we live under. I did the same sort of thing on a longer term and more adventurous scale at Morley College, St. Martins Art School and the University of London (Goldsmiths College) - creative reconstructions of many musical 'sysems' and 'languages', much music theatre (e.g. a project on "100 years of Solitude") - performances of plays by Satie, Schwitters etc. jazz improvisations to Klee, Kandinsky etc. and much, much more over a period of 12 - 15 years. All these departments were closed down or severely cut (i.e. no more part-time staff) owing to the fact that they did not have the benefit of bmh's alternative cultural/economic system at their disposal. After doing "the best work that we have ever come across' at Zurich Konservatorium I worked there as composition/theory etc. tutor until they decided to give preference to Swiss people, owing to the cuktural-economic system which rules there too.

I worked for a long time as a theatre composer (e.g. music for Half-Moon Theatre's 'The Dragon' and the Roundhouse's 'The Mother' I also wrote and toured music-in-education plays myself. I founded the Hampstead Chamber Orchestra which e.g. gave the first known performances of Schoenberg's "3 Orchestral Pieces". I also conducted first modern performances of Cavalieri and other early opera.

I have attended courses at Darmstadt with Cage (!) [I was the first person to invite him to England, i am ashamed to say, to stage an event for the Oxford University Contemporary Music Club, which I had founded and run) and with Stockhausen and Boulez (who didn't turn up!). Incidentally, I paid for the Darmstadt Course ( which has now been identified as a CIA psych-op project see "Who paid the Piper" by Frances Saunders) by playing with the Domaine Musicale ensemble under the great Bruno Maderna. I also met and studied with Aaron Copland, Roger Sessions and others at Dartington. From the age of 14 I studied composition privately with PR Fricker, who may be known to one or two of you. I worked with the early music ensemble, Musica Reservata, researching, arranging performance versions for various recordings and broadcasts....

Public performances of my works have been given, apart from Dartington and Darmstadt, at various events and venues and in particular in London's Southwark Cathedral, Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club and the Southbank (The Purcell Room). One of my pieces was hailed as having "the most beautiful opening of any modern piece I have ever heard' by a great musician not previously known to me. Someone else, independently, found the close "stunning". Other pieces were cheered by the audience at the Purcell Room even though they got sour treatment in 'The Times' and 'The Telegraph' by critics I had previously offended. [Was I hurt? Of course not. I was flattered. The two critics will be well-known to British readers as prize b-s artists. the only case they tried to make was that the thunderous applause was for the page-turners and not the music!] That's why I don't mind bmh's raving bombast]

Well. But still: all this is hardly a phenomenal achievement!

(No, it's not - although I am a little bit proud of having found what I see as a creative partial solution to some of the problems of 20th - 21st century music as opposed to the many clever and not so clever evasions}

Anyway, it does not prove that what I say is worth reading!

Actually it has got nothing to do with that question.

   bmh at 16:52 on 06 May 2008

Now your post and my response are in the right order, more or less.

Even omitting the bits of puffy exaggeration from your CV, it's clear that you've done some interesting work and engaged in some very interesting experiences. Thank you for offering me this understanding of your background and perspective - I do appreciate that.

But you must realize that any of the roles you've played, the integrity behind some of your ideas, and the value of your work, only makes it that much more of a shame that you chose to respond to my initial posting in such an belligerent way: have you considered the possibility that by your quick misunderstanding and violent dismissal of what I wrote you may have lost the opportunity for a worthwhile conversation?

You must admit that you have a terrible habit of coming on a bit stronger than is absolutely necessary: examine your first response to Dmitri in the "Violin Family Instruments" thread:

Of course you're allowed to contribute to this list, but try to say something useful please, or at least accurate.

You must admit that you misjudged him in precisely the same way you've misjudged me. It's one thing to come to an understanding of another person's ideas, disagree with them, and express your disagreement. It's quite another to lash out from a position of ignorance or assumption. Perhaps it's time to break the habit?

So, of your Q & A bit at the beginning of your last posting, I really think you ought to re-evaluate this section:

Q. But you keep on blaming other people!
A. Not for my problems.
Q. So you've got problems....
A. [...haven't we all?....]

Your response to my original posting was far too personal and unwarranted for me to conceive of it as anything other than you reacting against an idea you might've found landed a bit too close to home: e.g. the principle that composers have exclusive responsibility for both the development of this form of art and for carving out a strong cultural voice for their work both personally and collectively; and that transferring this responsibility to other forces is a false position.

Had you reacted like this to what is clearly a valid argument - and one which was obviously presented as a general position, not as a personal attack on you or anyone else - can you imagine the different path our interaction would have taken?


  Re: I look briefly for a topic like this but its about demos  Misuc at 17:14 on 06 May 2008

Thank you. i am honoured.

I believe my posting may have been removed by david bruce, because i got a ticking-off from him for the use of the expression 'bullshitter' to your good self. I thought this was modest by comparison with the genuinely hurtful thuggish bullying I got from you!

Anyway this might explain the case of the missing final paragraph, and I don't mind leaving out the offensive b-s phrase.

I have thought long and hard to see if I can recognise any 'puffy exaggeration' in what I have written. I have found two examples: a] I have not written millions of notes. I have now done a rough reckoning and the true number is probably about as many as the miles shown on my car - about 100,000 + i.e. an exaggeration of at least 1000%! b] I told you I studied with Boulez, but (as I also said) he didn't show up. I didn't study with him in the end. [On the other hand, I have not name-dropped on the various famous composers I have been on friendly terms with.]

Nevertheless, this 'CV' does not give an accurate picture of my life. At this point I originally wrote out a long list of my deficiencies - which I will still do, if anybody should ask - but on the whole i thought this would be being just a bit over-conciliatory!!

  Re: I look briefly for a topic like this but its about demos  Misuc at 22:10 on 07 May 2008

I have just noticed that there is a special forum on CT devoted to a severe criticism of one of the critics I mentioned in my 'CV" as having written scornful reviews of one of my pieces.

  Re: I look briefly for a topic like this but its about demos  Ben Mueller-Heaslip at 07:02 on 09 May 2008

You're too right! I was giving you the best of my worst, no doubt! But you must know that David's doing right by laying down the law on you: you've got to live up to the dignity of that CV of yours.

And thank you for tacking on the:

'thuggish, hurtful bullying'

bit to that last post. I really didn't think you were giving me proper credit for the level of offensiveness I was laying on you.

I like a good fight and don't mind a bad one so much either (just ask Scott_Good!). You'll understand, I hope, that much of that (and of course there's a genuine enjoyment of thuggishness too) is very well grounded by the fact that I've made some difficult decisions about my own musical life which have resulted in some unique and very real consequences.

You've repeatedly stressed the word "real", which - as well as being one of the most dangerous and volatile words in an artist's vocabulary - was very much what I wanted to get into with my first post.

I'm interested in discussing a few "real" and, I suggest, very important things with you:

The relative importance of, and the relationship between, 'pure' composers (e.g. ref. CV, yourself, who see their work as an autonomous creative act) and composers (e.g. myself) who believe this to be a self-defeating perspective and put much weight in establishing a culturally-relevant voice for new composition.

Don't jump the gun, Julian - there are easy black and white answers from both sides of this issue, and we both know they're false. There's a great deal of importance in exceptional artists operating on either side of this dialectic, and the position of any one person is so absolutely relative to the position of others that an absolute dismissal would be absurd.

I'll start a new topic on this forum in the next couple days - with several very clear points of discussion. From many of the half-points you've made on my "cultural-economic" theory, I don't think we're that far off from agreeing on several important issues.

We won't, however, agree on any of the practical aspects of this discussion, and that doesn't bother me at all.


  Re: I look briefly for a topic like this but its about demos  Misuc at 09:16 on 09 May 2008

OK. I don't think we are that far apart either.

There are many "real" things to discuss. This will take time and serious thought. But just for now, and to correct any possible false impression you may have about what I think, my position is this: society has its problems (and how!) - the art of composition has its own problems. The two are of course ultimately connected. To transform society will take the mass effort of countless millions of people. It involves strategies and methods of working which are entirely different from the effort (which has to be largely, but not necessarily exclusively, individual) to expand and deepen the expressive power of the musical 'languages' we have inherited. There are no shortcuts in either case. To try and mix them up has proved to lead to [a word I am forbidden from using]: self-important phrase-mongering at best: the death of millions of people [through fascism and war etc.} at worst.

Anyway that's the case, rather abstractly put......

  Re: I look briefly for a topic like this but its about demos  Pete12b at 00:38 on 18 June 2008

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