I got busted last week. No, not for smuggling a bottle of wine into the Met’s Opera in the Park performance, but for my careless generalizations in last week’s post. A composer that I very much respect, who happens to be a generation older than I, pointed out to me that age is no assurance of progressiveness. So true. Somewhere out there, while a young composer was working on his or her ultra-conformist third piano sonata, my grandmother was emailing me a link to OK Go’s treadmill tour de force video—hip points go to the octogenarian in this case for sure. So if it isn’t age, what is it that makes one composer more adventurous than another?
Considering the fact that the sugary breakfast cereals you ate as a kid may have influenced your attitudes towards composition just as much as all those years you spent in college, it doesn’t seem rational to seek a definitive answer, but maybe folks can attempt to pinpoint a few possible causes in the comments section below. It’s difficult for me because, for as long as I can remember, my philosophies concerning music have always been carefree and undogmatic—although Pauline Oliveros puts most of us to shame when it comes to open-mindedness. Hey Pauline, if you’re reading, how did you get there? Or more importantly, how do you maintain your mindset?