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Bathwater

There has, over the past ten years, been a reawakening to the music of the New English Renaissance: Vaughan-Williams, Arnold Bax, E.J.Moeran and many others. One composer really caught my attention of late: John Ireland. His choral music is exquisite especially this little gem:


https://youtu.be/u6tjh6ai9X8


An entire generation of composers, and their very fine work, was lost to the modernisation within the BBC and universities promoting musical modernism - the Second Viennese School, the new Manchester school etc etc - but to what end? It's no good promoting unlistenable music, - whether it be intellectual or fashionable or, even, politically motivated - if it be devoid of archetypal content which, in the final analysis, is likely to be musical above all else and, therefore, organic. That's why there's been a reappraisal of 'real' music.




Speaking of archetypes, I've recently returned to reading about the art of Peter Birkhauser. Around fifteen years ago Dean Frantz, an American Jungian analyst, very kindly send me his dissertation on Birkhauser whom he'd met and spent many hours discussing how the unconscious affected his creativity. However this is a book I've read many times which I've also re-read in recent months:




It seems to me to be a mistake of incredible magnitude for some bent on promoting cancelling certain aspects of our culture. I read quite recently about an Oxford University college wanting to revise using traditional notation as a compulsory requirement for their music course. I sincerely hope the idea has been shelved. Traditional notation lies at the root of our musical culture, although I very much appreciate that some musicians are not 'readers' in a traditional sense. I consider people such as this to be highly gifted intuitives. However, some - like me - find notation a useful way to communicate particularly if I'm writing a piece for someone or working in the rock music field. When I'm improvising reading doesn't apply. Combining both can be helpful in every way.


The collective unconscious contains everything - both good and evil - which went into the making of histories. Reading about the exaggerations of the Frankfurt School, this also applies to music. May we learn from history not tear it down. May we not throw out the baby with the bathwater.

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