The music of Webern should be taught alongside the stories of Lydia Davis.
- Saying that the view of “the composer should be free of the expectations of the audience” is analogous to the “Why pass gun laws? Criminals will still get guns” view of gun control is not provocative; it is ignorant, petty, and cheap.
- Have some respect for your audience. They can make their own interpretations and form their own opinions. Get out of their way.
- Debate and criticism are healthy and inherently good activities.
- The lighting of the performance space and attire of the performers has nothing to do with the quality of the performance. There have been many bad performances given by well-dressed people in well-lit spaces.
- Anyone who is any good at anything trained and continues to train. They seek out instruction, take what they need from the instruction, and never stop improving their craft. No one is impressed with the fact that you never took a lesson; it’s not a badge of honor. At the same time, training and mentoring are not exclusive to the campuses of expensive private institutions and Big Ten powerhouses.
- A well-made piece can be any duration. I’d rather hear a well-made piece that lasts one minute than a mediocre piece lasting ten. On the other hand, we should not fear the evening-length composition. There are many well-made pieces lasting over an hour.
- Insulating yourself and your art with only the familiar is a recipe for becoming annoyingly stale and obnoxiously narcissistic. Take a hint from Christopher Hitchens and step away from your home turf every once in a while.