To be perfectly honest, the "artistic
statement," as currently construed,
has always seemed to me to be an
exercise in egoism and pretension.
If I had my way, my artistic statement
would simply read:
"I write music."
What more need be said?
However, having said that, it's clear that this simple statement will not suffice when applying to granting agencies or composition fellowships. Therefore, allow me to elaborate, as unpretentiously as my ego will allow me to.......
I believe in communicating with my audience in the most simple, direct manner possible. I also believe in saying as much as possible with as few notes as possible. This provides clarity of vision, and leads to a more direct understanding of my message. I follow the dictum of Thoreau: "Simplify, simplify!" - although why he felt the need to state the word "simplify" twice, therefore contradicting the very dictum he was trying to espouse, is beyond me! Why not simply say "Simplify!"? I know what you're saying; "Where do you get off criticizing Thoreau?" and my answer to that is, you are of course correct. Who am I to criticize Thoreau?
I have no use for minimalism, atonalism, serialism, or aleatoricism (notwithstanding my previous forays into all of those genres). Like the quote attributed to Prokofieff on the home page of this website, I still firmly believe in the power of tonality, albeit a slightly twisted tonality. I believe that music that does not primarily speak to the heart does not speak to our basic humanity. If the music is the message, I see no reason to obfuscate that message. I also reject ivory-towerism in all it's guises. Or, you can simply chuck everything I just said, and allow me to state that I write the kind of music that I want to hear, and fortunately, I live in an area that is highly receptive to the performance of new music. - B.B. 12/10/2018
"Only music can give an abstract
expression of life, in contrast to the
other arts, which must construct models and symbolize. Music solves
the problem by remaining itself; for
music is life whereas the other arts only depict life. Life is unquenchable
and inextinguishable; yesterday, today
and tomorrow, life was, is, and will be
in struggle, conflict, procreation and
destruction; and everything returns.
Music is life, and as such, inextinguish-able."
- Carl Nielsen, 1916