Following Satyagraha Remix (it was wonderful, by the way), I decided that I would walk home. Why not? It's only 4.3 miles back to my flat, and I really dislike buses. After negotiating Leicester Sq. with the cello, I started thinking:
Can we ever actually expect to progress in the "classical" music world?
I often wonder if there are too many stakeholders now, too much baggage and too few firebrands kicking things around to really affect change. I'm not meaning changing the clothes people perform in or the name of the group, or slipping in contemporary music into a Brahms recital... no, I'm meaning actual change.
Institutional change: something disruptive, something that puts someone else out of business because it's just too good. Something that you could lose your job over. Something that doesn't reward comfort and blind adherence to traditions.
That's the change I'm wanting to affect.
There will be no prizes for guessing the most common gripe I hear in my day-to-day pottering around the music world: that young people aren't interested in classical music, and that all they want is whatever Simon Cowell sells them.
Do you know what? It's absolutely the most ludicrous thing. Have you ever thought what Simon Cowell actually does?
He asks primetime TV to pay him to ask you to pay him to tell him what you want and then he sells the results to you. And then the album. Don't forget the albums. And the tours. And merchandise options...
Does anyone bother to ask the audience in the classical world? I don't know that I've ever heard of an audience being asked what they'd like, how they see music as being relevant. Is it because we, the performers, composers and producers, hold the divine right to say what gets done? Rubbish.
By the way, whatever happened to the audiences who threw tomatoes, held riots in the streets and walked out of performances? When did we stop having bold opinions?
Have we ever asked the nay-saying audience why they're nay-sayers? Did we listen to what they had to say, or did we just assume they were wrong..? Be honest now.
I want to speak with anyone who doesn't like classical music. Please, tell your friends. Put them in touch with me. A majority of my friends are outside of the classical world, and I'm asking them.
I'll follow this up...
EDIT: I've was saying to Mark Rock last night (CEO of Audioboo and all-round great guy) that I A&R'd Terminal through Audioboo - I played early stage effects and tracks through Twitter and asked for opinions, and with the help of my followers, chose the best sounds/tracks. I'm going to be experimenting with more of this in the next few months...