Our Fantasy Notes composer Gordon Francis Blaney speaks about a new role of classical music in the modern era and hwy it is important to share thoughts and feelings through music with audiences.
Music, to me, is an art first, then a craft, and a business last. To conduct, to perform, to theorize, and to teach are all wondrous aspects of music; with such it is about becoming one with the mental state of the original creator or creators of a work. To write, however, is about creating a clear and concise entrance into the landscape within.
Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?
Music without thought is too illogical and irrational; it is without craft. Music without feeling is too logical and rational; it is without art. Without art and craft music is not music, it is, at that junction, the mere propagation of sound.
If you were not a professional musician, would you have been?
Professionalism in music is less tangible and more intangible. If we believe we are, then we are. Financial independence is a beautiful achievement. It, however, is not the beginning, middle, and or end of professionalism in music. It is a distraction to what professionalism in music is, which is the pursuit of enlightenment in art and craft. I do not recall, based upon the philosophies I believe in, that I was ever “not” a professional musician.
The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about your future?
Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift, which is why it is called the present. The present, the moment, is what I need to focus on for success. I must also recall that I cannot change people, places, things, and ideas; I can, however, influence such. I must have courage to change from within though, and, perhaps, influence all to affect and or effect a positive environment.
If the above is cryptic, then I will state this on record as personal opinion: “It is not the fault of the concertgoer for the declined intrigue in serious concert music. It is the fault of the people and places of serious concert music for permitting outmoded etiquette to persist into a modern age”.
What do you envision the role of classical music to be in the 21 century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role?
The role of classical music in the modern era should be for musicians to share their thoughts and feelings through music with audiences. Such matters to be shared should be those from the plights of mankind and the individual to the pleasantries of such. The transformation in the role of classical music in the modern era is a return to less policies, procedures, and formalities for one and all involved as well as a loosening of etiquette. It will become more about the art and craft and less about all else.
When I say that classical music is searching for new ways or that the classical music is getting a new face, what would come to your mind?
The search is on! It is excellent to see and hear that musicians are attempting to change the face of classical music in the modern era. The present face is one of a snobbish connoisseur waltzing and darting from one high-end brand of wine and cheese to another in attire that is akin to that of a grieving husband and or wife for their losses. As time goes on, it will be jeans and t-shirts for attire as well as clapping and booing whenever the mood strikes; the face of music will become organic once more, and the concert halls will become engorged with people from all walks of life.
Do you think that the classical musician today needs to be more creative? Whats the role of creativity in the musical process for you?
Classical music in the modern era needs much, much, much more in the department of the creative. We all should open to old and new ideas. Such ideas as integration of other visual and or performing arts into our works or audience participation. I, on a personal note, am not close-minded: I am open to whatever idea is presented me, as long as it does not degrade a person or an instrument.
Do you think we musicians can do something to attract young generation into the classical music concerts? How will you proceed?
The best advice for musicians in attracting younger generations to classical music in the modern era is thus: “Ask them what is needed and wanted for there to be interest in attending!”
Tell us about your creative process. Do you have your favorite piece (written by you) How did you start working on it?
There is nothing magical concerning the creative process, at least in how I go about it. I work long and hard. I write, then I listen, then I edit or delete, and then last I repeat that process a measure at a time until the work satisfies me.
We, Moving Classics TV, love the combination of classical music with different disciplines: music and painting, music and cinematography, music and digital art, music and poetry. What do you think about these combinations?
All combinations are as good as those who do them. Not all art is equal. Not all craft is equal. However, opinions are often subjective and biased. Quite complex, difficult, and hard to be objective and unbiased concerning an opinion of such; it, however, is not impossible.
Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?
Those who are interested in discovering classical music in general should listen to all possible music, even such music that is not liked and or loved. Just as learning an appreciation for a new food and or drink can be complex, difficult, and hard, learning an appreciation for new styles and genres of music can be arduous. Advise on how to listen is thus: “Do not listen with a subjective and biased mind that is ignorant: listen with an open mind and an open heart”.
Now it is a common practice in the media to talk that the classical music is getting into the consumption business, do you agree? We are speaking about the supply and demand rules and how to sell your “product” in your case your compositions. How do you see it?
A misnomer exists in music business that: “The rule of supply and demand reigns supreme”. Be prepared to be a miserable musician is that is the rule that guides, as it will lead to opportunities that will make all love for music dissipate into nothingness.
Do you have expectations what regards your listeners, your audience?
I do have expectations of the listeners that listen to what I write. The expectations is one of being open and honest. If someone does not like it and or love, then I need and want them to think and feel it is alright to state such. The inverse of the previous statement is also true of an expectation I have. Audiences deserve freedom: if I do not deserve a standing ovation from those that attend a work of mine, then I do not need and or want them to do so, for such is insult to me and to them.
What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?
Each project is new. Each project is different. Experimentation is something I am open to all the time. The latest projects are a set of jazz lead sheets, a piano character piece, and symphonic tone vignette. I am, indeed, quite excited.