Sunday, January 26, 2014

Should the government fund the Arts ?

 I wanted to watch the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters awards ceremony & concert at Jazz at Lincoln Center to see four men of distinction recognized for their accomplishments. I assumed since Jazz is our indigenous American art form I might find it on PBS, A&E, or Bravo. But that was not the case, I had to search on the web to see these great American artists that represent the best of our society receive their awards and hear some wonderful music. Since Jazz had been supplanted on A & E by Duck Dynasty and other reality shows there's no denying that media companies could not care less about our culture, only the bottom line. Unlike European countries our government doesn't underwrite high culture in America. Our culture is funded by a small handful of patrons that support ballet, opera, jazz, and orchestral music. Without the generosity of this group I dare think our society would retrogress into an artistically impoverished gaming culture, that is completely pop oriented for the monetization of the moment. It is an interesting paradigm shift to observe this race to the bottom. In the 1960s one could tune into a major network and see Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck, or Leonard Bernstein.

Sadly, we get the culture we deserve.

Sunday, January 19, 2014


In art, dignity is in the effort.

Why are my ballets so relentless and rhythmic?

Art must reflect time and culture. My favorite subway quote. "Get the FUCK out of my face."  This one line tells us more about our society than any novel or literary essay.

Technology and classical music

I work in two worlds. Technology, where twenty four hours is considered old. And the classical music world, where one hundred years is considered new.

The American Orchestra

The American symphony's have strangled the and silenced the voices of their own composers for too long. But soon things will change. The age of virtual orchestras will finally give American culture a chance to be heard, grow and develop with out the filters and strangulation of the American orchestral institutions that no longer care about their own culture but only in the preservation of the orchestral institution.
The American orchestras should be excluded from any public funding or grants. Let them be financed by the European governments and business from that culture they promote, preserve, and nurture.
The American orchestras have treated its composers with the utmost contempt and lack of respect. They never seek out anything new, or urge new young writers to create. They only have contempt for the new.

October 28 10:27 PM

I am sick
I am an addict
I cannot help myself
I sat around the house playing with the kids
Looking at the walls
How can I pass the time
What do I do next ?
beyond depression
I need to get out of my depression
I run for my drugs
I pick up a pen
And start to write another opera
My wife is angered
She says NO
But I cannot help myself
I was born to write
It is the only thing in this world that makes me feel alive
The act of that instantaneous creation
The ink flowing off the pen
An new idea that never was
The adrenaline rushes into my veins like a junkie
The drug kicks in
I get off
If I do not write
I drown
It is as simple as that
I drown

We no longer celebrate anticipation in today's world

In the middle of my run of my new opera The Pig, The Farmer, and The Artist. I am amazed at the lack of interest and apathy form the world of classical critics. There is just silence. Writing a  new two hour opera means nothing. But I pick up the New York Times and read a new review of a girl playing Bach. Maybe that is news. It seems like the critics already have in their minds who is a worthy artist and who is not, and do not even bother to to experience the work. The name before the work means a lot more than the work itself. Better to see another bad production of Tosca than to see a completely new work by just another idiot composer not worthy of ink. Perhaps it was that this work was created outside the institutional venues. Maybe new art must be presented in the correct venue by the proper promoters in order to be taken seriously as art. In either case the composer is reduced to a mere street beggar pleading for someone to take a chance and listen to something new. As I write this letter I see myself dying slowly. All the work and effort means nothing if you are on the outside. They might as well just pick up a gun and pump a bullet into your head,it is the same thing, they leave you for dead.
What is the point for any artist to try to create something new in this apathetic climate  we live in today. Has it always been like this, if so it is a wonder that anything of any value was ever created

Classical Music

Classical music lives in a insulated box that has nothing to do with the outside world. Orchestras do not exist in todays culture for the creation of new interesting art. They exist to perpetuate the institution.
Since orchestras get most of their income from foundations and fundraiser there is no incentive for them to change. If Park ave patron X wants Brahms, they get Brahms. If Tommy from the East village that is cultural, inquisitive, and alive wants something new that relates to him, he is tough out of luck.
The only way to get orchestras to change is to require by the state that any of the public tax funds orchestras receive must go to creating and playing new American works. If people want to put up their personal money to champion European culture , that is their prerogative. But if it is the public money, then that should not be the case. Perhaps if modern classical composers where as organized and aggressive as the teamsters, something like this could be accomplished

The Artist & Strength

The most important thing an artist needs is strength
The strength to listen to your own voice
The strength  to paint your house blue when all others say it should be red
The strength to get up in the morning after a night of being chastised for listening to your own voice
The strength to still listen to your own voice when there are no rewards only disappointments
The strength to still create when you know no one will put any value on it
The strength to forge ahead when you are an unaccepted resented outsider
The strength to sit and re think and re calculate every move in order to breath life into your child
The classical world is like a giant oil tanker
It takes so long to turn or move
The problem is when it does turn, you are not around
How I envy the commercial artist
I should have done that, it would have been an easy a nice life
But no !!
I had to have the stupidity, and ego to listen to my own voice
The stupidity and nativity to try to create to try to get the best out of myself
God bless those that can live in a the world and be at peace with themselves

The Olympics

A gorilla can lift more weight than any man. A cheetah can run faster than any of us. A chimpanzee is a better gymnast than we will ever be, but still we hold our Olympians in the highest esteem.
However none of the above could ever write a symphony or a serious novel, and the men the create these are forgotten relics, just a caustic sore on modern society.

The Genre of new Music

If the orchestras and audiences cannot enthusiastically ( and that is the key word ) embrace new music the genre of classical will die and metamorphosis into a museum which for most part it is.
Just the fact the the genre has to have new music ensembles is an insult to the purity if the art form.

Today's world

Screw the world for being Impoverished !


Form is the new content 

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Real Truth about the Orchestra Crisis

I am afraid that it will be impossible outside of major cites to have orchestras in this country unless some radical change happens.
It is so obvious without getting artsy and philosophical.
You see a young teenager on the street and they have ZERO connections to orchestras.
Why ?
Well, they don't learn classical music in schools.
They don't see it on TV.
They don't hear it on the radio.
They certainly are not looking at it on FACEBOOK, MTV,etc.
And it is no longer our ontological cultural center.

Plain and simple, it is a total abstraction like Northern Tibetian Gungamuk Yak Music to them, completely off their radar.
So what makes any orchestra think they will some how wander into a concert hall ?

USA orchestras are pretty much fixated on the past and perpetuate 18th and 19th Century European Culture.
Pick another era ? Medieval, its all the same to these kids.
Did we ever bother to create and champion our own orchestral culture like we did in Jazz so there is come cultural bridge between generations ? In Latin country's young and old are at the same Salsa and Samba concerts. They pass their indigenous culture down, we don't, maybe because it was not ours to begin with.
The orchestra community has failed to keep classical music a living relevant art form. In my opinion they are guilty of cultural treason and they are walking the plank they created. When you see this new generation of VCs building Rock Museums in Seattle instead of championing orchestras, that says it all..............In the end we get the culture we deserve


Vienna is now a caricature of itself.
You can buy Klimt scarfs, T shirts, shoes, handbags in any shop
The entire city is also sponsored by an electronics giant
You are badgered in the streets to go to the daily Mozart or Strauss concerts by people dressed up in traditional costumes.
Vienna survives on the exploits of its ancestors, what has it produced today ?
The Disneyfication of Vienna, cultural tourism at its lowest

The Carnegie Hall Prize

It seems to me that many of the visiting orchestras that come to Carnegie Hall tend to program a lot of the same repertoire.

I think there should be, in the spirit of good old American competition, a Carnegie Hall Prize for the best performance of a selected piece.

The orchestras would come and play their concerts and be judged by a jury.

At the end of the year all the votes will be tallied and the winning orchestra will get an all-paid free weekend vacation to Disney World in sunny Orlando Florida.

And yes of course, this will simultaneously be aired on television as a reality show, insuring our nation’s children are exposed to classical music.

David Chesky


When I am in the present I am only here 50 percent in the present.
The other 50 percent is consumed by a non stop rage that is only silenced when I sleep


That is what an artist has to be in today's world to be sane
There is no NY Philharmonic
There is no NY times
There is no MET
The only things that exists are what I choose to say exist
The rest don't count as they are illusions

Monday, January 13, 2014


I bought into the illusion of art ?
The illusion of immortality
The illusion of the possibility of one hearing our screams
The illusion of NOT living ones life in the present
The illusion of NOT living ones life in the world
Better to be like Rockefeller, Trump, or others like that see the world clearly
Live in the world and only for the present, the rest is just an illusion.