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01.21.09 – Inaugural Diatribe

I realize I’m coming in a couple of days late on this, but I wanted to have a brief rant, if I may. It is in regards to the inauguration on Tuesday. Regardless of on what side your opinion falls regarding the incoming administration, it is difficult to deny the importance and dignity of the occasion. Truly it is evidence of barriers rent and tolerance, well, tolerated. Then can anyone tell me why with all of the American composers who have done so much to establish the legitimacy of our nation’s musical presence in the world, with all of the men and women who often put their artistic reputations on the line to evolve our musical lexicon into the vast and beautiful landscape that it is today, why John Williams was commissioned to write the focal musical work? And why, oh why, ask him to compose a work that only makes it seem like he’s trying to channel the spirit of Aaron Copland? Seriously, Simple Gifts? It’s not that I’m necessarily against John Williams. I respect him and his works. But at least they could have commissioned him to compose a more original work; then I might not be so bothered about the whole thing. Feel free to call me out on this if you think I’m wrong; I just felt like what was one of the most significant events that many of us will see in our lifetimes was briefly lowered to the level of a celebrity awards banquet. I’m sure all of you reading this could list at least one or two important living American composers who deserved to be considered for this honor. And honestly, as the heat of my rant is wearing off, I can admit that I will probably forget about it in the coming months; but I am certainly left with a small nagging feeling of regret. Am I making too big a deal of this? Feel free to leave your thoughts.

  • Leah Sproul

    No, you are not making too big a deal about this. It was super lame. An arrangement? Whoever was in charge of this dropped the ball.

  • Aaron

    This just in: I read an article in the NY Times about the inauguration. Yo-Yo Ma = Milli Vanilli? You tell me…