Vacation Miscellany

It’s time for a little break from blogging, to resume in a few weeks. Here are a couple of  items for your consideration:

Jed Perl makes the case for the “freestanding significance” of the arts. Whether it be scholars who care more about context than that which is being contextualized, or grant-giving foundations that think art is a delivery system for social services, rather than prioritizing artistic excellence, the pressure to “hyphenate” the arts is tremendous. UPDATE:  a typically thoughtful reply to Perl by Alex Ross here in which he lays out a wise middle ground. I don’t have anything to add about Wagner or Strauss, but I still think the scholarly and grant-giving pendulums have swung too far away from notes ‘n’ rhythms. I’m not talking about educational outreach, which is crucially important. But if you want to help homeless people, it is probably more efficient to mop the floor at a shelter than to write a string quartet, despite what some foundations seem to think.

Nicholas Payton on a reprehensible, unfunny “humor” piece on the New Yorker website.

– I’ve added a video page above (see the links just below the blog’s header photo) so you can readily find YouTube performances of my music, including Times Like These and the Mass for the Day of St. Thomas Didymus.

Here’s a new organization that sounds pretty interesting.

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