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John Dinwiddie Speaks Out

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Item Type: Sound Recording Duration: 31 min
Event Type: Lecture / Panel Discussion Program Origin: KPFA

In a rather informal recording made in the studios of KPFA in July of 1972, local Bay Area composer and pianist, John Dinwiddie, ruminates about the then current state of New Music and the apparent tension between the artistic vanguard and their audiences. Dinwiddie allows us to listen in to the debate that rages nightly within his own mind about the evolution of music and the impact that has had on the general concert-going public. According to Dinwiddie, the gap in appreciation and understanding between the avant-garde composer and the concert hall audience is due, in part, to the economic restraints in presenting such concerts, which are far more demanding than that of the visual arts. Concerts require more specialized, and thus more expensive, venues, and the cooperation of often many musicians, whereas pictures or photographs just need to be hung on any wall in order for the public to become aware of them. As a result the gap between composer and audience is getting greater and greater. This situation is further aggravated by the modern composers’ need to deal with the silences that have followed the deconstruction of traditional musical forms by the likes of John Cage. Further enlightening insights gleaned from this rambling monologue include thoughts about the ritual of the concert hall and the question if there is an obligation by those that do not like New Music to behave themselves, and if modern composers should permit themselves to enjoy traditional classical music. Erudite and adventurous, John Dinwiddie ultimately makes the case for there being no legitimate reason to sit in judgment of Art, and to do so is an act of obscenity. Whether you love or hate New Music, Mozart, or both, this fascinating program is bound to excite and enlighten you.

Genres:  New Music; Avant-Garde
Subject:  New music; Avant-garde (Music) ; Music appreciation; Music -- Philosophy and aesthetics
People:  Dinwiddie, John; Gnazzo, Anthony, 1936-
Recording Date:  7/20/1972
 
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