The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

The Present Day Composer #30


George Gershwin (1898-1937)

2 comments :

Herb Levy said...

How come so many of the composers depicted in this series of photos have been dead for decades? (And why do only four such images show up now, from a series that has apparently reached the number 30, when last week, at least 12-15 such pictures would show up?)

Or should I just be considering artists in other fields that you post pics of, like George Cukor, Charles Chaplin, Barbara Nichols (if only...), Jack Benny, Diane Arbus, Ben Shahn, etc (to name only a few of the ones within reach before getting tired of the whole idea) as being present day artists as well?

Tom Sutpen said...

How come so many of the composers depicted in this series of photos have been dead for decades?

*****
The title 'Present Day Composer' is a play on a quote from Edgard Varese; to wit: 'The present day composer refuses to die'. Its theme, as you've guessed, is composers who are no longer with us.

(And why do only four such images show up now, from a series that has apparently reached the number 30, when last week, at least 12-15 such pictures would show up?)

*****
For the simple reason that this blog has no organizational structure to it beyond making sure we number the entries properly. I sometimes let a series go for months without posting an entry in it (we have no schedule), then I'll see an image somewhere I can use for the uncontinued series and re-start it, only to let it lapse again for a period of time.

Or should I just be considering artists in other fields that you post pics of, like George Cukor, Charles Chaplin, Barbara Nichols (if only...), Jack Benny, Diane Arbus, Ben Shahn, etc (to name only a few of the ones within reach before getting tired of the whole idea) as being present day artists as well?

*****
No. But only because that's assuming a formula to this blog which I freely admit does not exist. Otherwise I can't tell you not to think of these artists in that way.

I mean, if I wanted to I could give you my ideas about how all of this connects in one way or another; how these are puzzle pieces, etc.; but I could just be rationalizing. And, either way, it's not relevant. I really wouldn't want to impose some concept I think the visitor should have in mind when looking or reading or doing whatever on this site. There are no rules here, and no process other than our own.

Speaking for myself (Messrs. Cooke and Gibson will chime in if they're so moved), the only thing I really want the visitors to this blog to do is come away from it interested enough to visit again. But that's only my personal goal. People can either like what we're doing or not like it. I wouldn't presume to argue with either reaction.

Thanks for asking, though!