Banned Books Week

Image     So, we all know about the riots (you’ll need that VPN to access Oxford Online) caused by the sensationalist debut of the Rite of Spring at the beginning of the twentieth century (I would say at the turn of the century, but I’ve already had one student say to me, “Which century?” Humor me, oh young ones, and bring back the Spinning Jenny while you’re at it). It is often trotted out this time of year as the Big Bad Banned One along with Shostakovich and his travails with Stalin.

One thing both composers had in common was they were all premiers of new music with inventively fresh approaches to the medium. Well, I stumbled on Tim Rutherford-Johnson’s blog bravely dubbed The Rambler. It focuses on new music complete with an ominously, intriguing page (I’ve got scary stuff on the brain listening to all these Steven King interviews regarding his newly published sequel to the  The Shining) called “Secret Music.”

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The author describes his page:

Secret Music is the name I’ve given to this blog’s ongoing project to curate the best new music that is falling under the radar of the media and the major institutions. This is the music that the newspapers, radio, magazines and even blogs are hardly aware of. It’s often music that isn’t getting performed by the big ensembles or at the well-funded venues, and that the wider public are hardly aware of. But I think it is some of the best work being composed today.

Secret music shoved under the carpet. A worse fate than riot-inducing in terms of recognition. Fear of the new seems to trigger this type of response due to our ego-wired brains. My message: try something new and don’t let it get denied to others based on the trigger of fear.

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