If you’ve been wondering who is responsible for dumbing down American musical culture, it’s people like Ronen Givony and me. Givony, as many of you know, is the mini-Sol Hurok who is responsible for New York’s priceless Wordless Music series. Like me, Givony is not a composer or musician or even someone who reads music. But, also like me, he loves new music and wants to help nurture and promote the talented people who do. The web has given us both platforms to indulge our desire to do so.
According to Andrew Keen, that makes us the worst kind of well-meaning but dangerous and misinformed schmos. We are”amateurs,” in the most perjorative sense. Keen’s new book The Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet is Killing our Culture blames the equalitarian nature of web publishing and self-promotion for everything from Britney to global warming.
I dunno. Seems to me that influential “amateurs” have always been with us. Weren’t a lot of the explorers and scientists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries people who simply pursued their discoveries, quite often using their own resources?
I’m sure this august group can think of many examples of amateurs who have had some influence on the advancement of new music. Share some of them with us, please.
p.s. By the way, I am no longer an amateur web site builder and manager. My first paid-for site called MyVenturepad opened for business yesterday. Nice article today on the front page about the changing of the guard at Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe.