We have just been to a bloody boring concert. The BBC National Orchestra of Wales are doing a series of 3 composer portraits of contemporary composers, and the first was Simon Holt tonight. It was crap.
We go to a lot of contemporary concerts because Brian is a contemporary classical composer. A lot of them are crap.
A lot of them are dull, repetitive and unimaginative.
There seems to have been little progress since the 1960s in some ways. While not saying that the very squeeky gate and aleatoric stuff produced then was long lasting, any more than the aleatoric writing of william Burroughs may be long lasting, it was (then) original, and provocative.
However now - in most art forms - we seem to be stuck into a state where repetition is acceptable, and regarded as creative. Rachel Whitemead continues to make concrete casts of buildings - perhaps once has an artistic statement, but to keep repeating it makes it no longer art, it makes it craft, like throwing pottery mugs on a larger scale.
All 4 pieces of Simon Holt's tonight were very similar. He either has frenetic string playing, or oompa brass playing, or both together. There was no actual music, nothing memorable, nothing narrative, nothing subtle, nothing original. We went for a drink to drown our sorrows.
Richard,Brian's middle son, is a film writer. He has written a script which various people have said is excellent, but it isn't a script which people want to make into a film because it doesn't fit into a niche which the accountants know will make money. At a party last week he met two girls who want to study fine art. They want to paint. The art colleges, while admitting that they have talent, tell them they cannot study painting, they have to create installations instead. Painting isn't art anymore.
The London Olympic bit had a significant arts strand and part of that strand was 'legacy'. They announced the first 12 successful bids last week and all of them are temporary, installation type pieces and apparently fill the 'legacy'commitment by saying that the people who took part will remember them.
And expensive crap.
I know I sound like an old fart, but surely imagination, and skill, and talent should have a part to play in art. It shouldn't be like Damien Hurst selling empty nothings to people with more money than sense.
Sometimes I despair.