Re: academic vs. popular

Subject: Re: academic vs. popular
From: Michael A. Thompson (
Date: Wed Jul 07 1999 - 23:31:53 EDT

Anomalous Records Eric wrote:

> >By the description above it seems that I am not "academic" but "popular" in my
> >compositional approach. I think the major record companies would have a hard
> >time dealing with my music being called "popular" or "commercial" because it
> >comes from a different "institution" than the "institution" they are used to
> >hearing and dealing with.
> I think you mis-understood what I said. 'Popular' is just way I tried to
> express the us (academia) and everyone else that I see on this list. And
> in part I would like to point out the absolute stupidity that is suggested
> by saying that if you aren't part of an institution that you would be on a
> major label or must be trying to sell your work. A lot of the artists that
> people on this list have been whining about winning prizes are not on major
> labels or making money from their art and never will be. For them, Prix
> Ars Electronica 1999 is a victory, because finally you don't need to list
> off where you went to school and who you studied with to be taken
> seriously. The point of what I wrote was to point out that these divisions
> are in ways people see themselves and therefore try to project themselves
> to others. As I said before, the results (musically) themselves are often
> the same on both sides of this imaginary fence.

I think I understood your post.

I just think that its dangerous to categorize music by attempting to explain its
creation through perceived generalities.

I don't get the impression that most people on this list are that narrow minded
nor believe that anyone has to be associated with an academy (university, record
company, or private rock-n-roll guitar instructor that lives down the block) to be
a good composer or win prizes (most of the time anyway). We come from a break in
tradition and have not been in the "academy" for very long nor do we have that
many allies in the "academic" musical world. Some of my favorite ea composers are
not associated with a university nor a record label nor are rich. I have a hard
time seeing the victory here for these "other" artists. If anything they are
closer to most of the composers of ea music as far as socially related standings
(no money, working at a fast food chain, doing it because we want to, and enjoy
what we do).


Michael A. Thompson
[IRIX - NeXTStep - Linux - MacOS - Windows]

Home: (940)382-2086 E-Mail: ----------------------------------

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b27 : Wed Jun 11 2003 - 13:09:01 EDT