Blame it on the boogie

UK and world premiere night for contemporary music at Barbican Hall the weekend before last as part of LSO Futures and ahead of each piece FX Roth asked composers in attendance on stage for a quick chat starting with a joke to break the ice. Christian Drew was given to describe mimicking underwater sound in score and Donghoon Shin had to explain how his and Unsuk Chin's surnames are pronounced differently. Also certain notations he used were found to be a bit kitsch? Then Stef Conner's tame appearance and raging death metal inspired work were exposed as frankly contrasting!

Our applause hopefully made up for some of the teasing clearly humorously done to benefit the audience. While those exchanges were like being silly among friends, since we all naturally tend to make everyday projections off stage and online of course, as artist and committed alien you are bound to face contradictory on occasion easy judgement a fair deal. In fact, there can be no salvation from this form of control, the scholarly pursuit of advance psychologizing by process of reduction, which usually leads to you being on the hook for something. Here's my personal dozen best of:

Premise, impression, predicament Context, in other words, reprimand Whose fault?
Lazy, slooow, perfectionist, ergomaniac Stop procrastinating, get some air Mine
Self involved, never listens to anyone Look at you! Caught up in your own vanity! Oof
Attention seeking, wants adulation Oh you went to school for this? As above
Lacks discipline, is all over the place, cannot be relied on What are you a baby? Grow up already Same
Overly sensitive, soft, unable to let go, hanger-on, flight risk This world is made of steel and concrete Ditto
Bad relationship with money, needs lessons in capitalism Get a real job, pronto God only knows
Problems with sexuality, defined by We know you better than you know yourself Guess who
Independent, stubborn, defiant, rebel heart Submit or else All mine
Melancholic, tense, merry by default Your look is telling 'O sole mio
Wannabe, celebrity flunk, Mr. Nobody What was your name again? Yours truly
Poor grasp of reality, dreamer, hopeless romantic Wake up, get a grip Myself
Takes everything literally and way too seriously Relax or stress is going to get you Hello

Not without exception, we expect people to be perfect so acting and laboring in public unavoidably invites shallow perceptions, which means you are often left wondering: Who am I and what am I doing here? Because a lot of design choices involved in the production of culture center around mastery of anticipation, social expectations make for valuable material when experimenting with a life art in mystical tradition, but outside religion or the cult of personality.

People staring at John Singer Sargent's Madame X portrait, currently on show in London

Scandalous beyond repair Hard to believe John Singer Sargent gave up Paris on account of standard ridicule alone. Only a guess, but it may have been they tried to interpret his psychology by accusing him of using indecency in bid for attention that got under his skin eventually. That must have stung a little.

But then again did he change his style or quit painting? No, he just took his talents elsewhere and kept going in miraculous own it and move on fashion. Nice of him to have taken the time to paint the fallen strap back up in any case.

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