I’m a thinker, a teacher, and an artist. Always learning, always expanding what I do. Always trying to help.
I write music that’s probing and varied, unique and appealing. Hear what I’ve done.
My latest news:
A thought I’ve had…
Just how out of touch is classical music? With the outside world, I mean.
Here’s one measure of that. To judge from the promotional email I get, orchestras keep doing kids’ performances, featuring Peter and the Wolf. Along with other things often billed with words like “enchanting,” for instance musical settings of fairytales.
Well, I have a kid. An 11 year-old boy. He’s seen almost all the Jurassic Park/Jurassic World films. Mow he’s watching Stranger Things. When he’s looked for films to watch with me, he’s favored giant spiders.
So if what turns him on is people chased by dinosaurs and monsters — sharks falling from the sky in the Sharknado films! — why is he excited by a wolf eating a duck?
I know my kid. The one thing in Peter and the Wolf he might appreciate would be if the wolf ate Peter. That would satisfy his very modern sense of irony, his love of trashing expectations.
You could say that Peter and the Wolf is for younger kids, but when he was six or seven, my son had seen the first three Star Wars films. Wanted to go outside and play Star Wars. Darth Vader, the emperor, the Death Star — more exciting than a wolf.
People in classical music should think this over. What appeals to kids today? What are they into on their own?
If you want to get my son to an orchestra performance, The Planets won’t do it. Not exciting. And I don’t think the Star Wars score. Not as thrilling as the films.
Instead, you might do music that — with great style and flash and thrills — sounds like zombie. Or giant robots. How about a piece called Zombie Apocalypse! I’ve never seen that on an orchestra program, but wow. Wouldn’t it be fun?