Life is, as we all know, a transient thing. What Camille Paglia termed as 'The Outrage of Incarnation' ends in the tragedy of the loss of incarnation, and the death of persona/personae.
I've started getting over the outrage part, but only at the expense of appreciating the tragedy. Damn, I miss my angry and uncaring youth.
I still, however, find no excuse for the warble in the Opera Singer's voice.
It's even worse when they attempt Bach with a modern vibrato. Whatever happened to the note, pure and unadorned, in the right place with the right inflection?
I also have to face other facts: I am no longer the musician who took such pleasure in the bratty outrage of rock 'n' roll. I have replaced an encyclopedic knowledge of Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, and The Stones et al, with a love (but less of an understanding) of 'Classical' music, and this process has been ongoing for more than twenty-five years.
In my pretentious, angry, and uncaring youth, I attempted to transcribe bits of Bartok's 3rd string quartet for electric guitar. (Bob Fripp nicked the Pizzicato movement of Bartok 4 for his 'Larks Tongues in Aspic pt II'; so there was precedent.) Thereafter I had a love/hate relationship with the extreme modernists, and perversely, Bach; which ran alongside a love of American influenced vernacular music.
But the past ten years, of choice, all I've listened to is BBC Radio 3. I've made the excuses; that I was setting up my harmonic vocabulary for the day: if I were to be arranging or writing parts I'd often find I'd recycle ideas I'd been listening to on Radio 3 during the drive into the studio - often combining something obvious and tuneful with post-Stravinsky dissonance or even atonality.
But in fact I listen to pop and rock music to dissect it; in terms of sounds, arrangements, and production. Most of it doesn't do it for me, anymore.
Sibelius, though, is a different matter. As is Beethoven.
I play in studios, I play in function bands; occasionally I teach, when I can be bothered, and only if the pupil can convince me he/she is serious and prepared to do the work - but I no longer love it. It is no more my east and west, and its breadth seems as narrow as the horizons of a teenage mind - which as we know, centres on girls (if you're that way inclined), money, and getting off one's face, to employ an argot of recent past. Or there's Kurt, godblesshispoorsoul, and his ilk, with whom I have much sympathy, and to whom I can still listen (just about).
But after the sound of the Dual Rectifier (Mesa's Metal Head), there hasn't been anything new.
We've just lived through the songwriting equivalent of the Elizabethan age of Dramatists. After Marlowe, Shakespeare, and Jonson, it all went downhill for some time. The irony of the fact is that just as we achieve the ability to record and store information on a vast scale, all the great great creative genii are doing something else - probably computer games.
I know, because I'm part of it - I'm good at what I do (when I can be bothered), but I can't say I'm a genius - but actually, when I look at all the people around me - all of whom are educated and talented - I still don't see genius.
Remember: Genius is the enemy (or overlord) of even the very good indeed.
There is no obvious Goethe, no Schiller, no Eliot: and this is because learning isn't valued for its own sake, merely for its application or relevance. Even the Dandyish Bohemian intellectual is a stereotype so long past its sell by date it is almost antediluvian.
Vespasian joked upon his death that he must be turning into a god.
I feel I'm alive, but slowly becoming fossilised.
Will finish short speech tomorrow, & rehearse it exactly twice.
Will probably have to amend it when Mike gets here anyway.