[vimeo 38778004 w=500 h=281]
I just wanted to share a video that I found via my friends Arlene and Larry over at Acornometrics. They went to this keynote speech given by Tim Page at the Rubin Institute for Music Criticism back in January. Page’s writing on music has been quite influential to my style of covering the Baltimore music scene. The 65 essays compiled in Tim Page on Music are incredibly perceptive and engaging. Some of those “illumined moments” he covers in the book led to his receiving the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 1997. I only wish I could have been at Peabody when he was teaching there while writing for the Washington Post.
He makes a great (although self-described cliché) point that we are in the “best of times and the worst of times” when it comes to music criticism. “It’s in the air,” he says. With the advent of music criticism on the internet, much like this very blog, everyone is able to express their opinion about music performance which can be a wonderful thing. Page remembers often being the only critic at many events while working for the New York Times and other publications. We are in the unique position to have many people of different backgrounds, values, and interests review the music happening all over the country.
I often see a Roosevelt quote cropping up from time to time on Facebook: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena…” Usually posted by young artists, they miss the point that we are all in the life cycle of music together. Page encourages us all to explore with the art and with writing about art.