Tuesday, 9 December 2008

It's music, Jim, but not as we know it

Reading an otherwise innocuous bit of Education PR about a Christmas concert at http://www.gov.im/lib/news/education/ticketssellingfa.xml I was startled by a familar name at the end.
James MacMillan? Not the sad religionist James Macmillan who churns out such awful muzak?
'Who?' sez you. 'Oh sod it,' sez me, 'just read http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/3116598/Composer-James-MacMillan-warns-of-liberal-elites-ignorance-fuelled-hostility-to-religion.html and we can cut to the chase'.
I do like this comment by the way
'Leading British composer'? That's almost as oxymoronic as 'Christian morality'! He's an idiot whose religious beliefs will thankfully soon be as obscure and irrelevant to the rest of us as his music.'
Wonder who said that? Oh - me.
No but seriously... the last patron of the Manx Youth Orchestra was Malcolm Arnold - and what a difference. Populist, wrote film scores and music kids could play, and liked playing. Even wrote a piece replete with foghorn chorus celebrating his local lifeboat crew specially for a local youth band. Glorious stuff.
When he wrote something for a Manx orchestra and the local fur coat and no knicker brigade were getting uppity about it I poked fun in the local paper, pointing out his best known composition was the theme tune to 'St. Trinians'. They fainted -but he roared with laughter.
What really worries me is if some bright spark also decides to commission 'Holy Jim, CBE' to knock out obscurantist drivel for Manx kids to struggle through at some point.
No prizes for guessing what kind of theme it will have with his track record. Still, at least it will never get a second performance, and no-one will go to the first unless their attendance is a job or exam requirement.

No comments: