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    I love the comparison with toddler development. I think that's the key point of this entire project.


    I think that, excepting the first-time nature of the thing, 'toddler' is a bit reductive and dismissive (and for what it's worth I think the Washington Post review was far more of the 'doesn't get it' variety, the NYT essay being much more positive). Putting aside the godawful 'American Idol' theatrical bombast, what was really on display was an illustrative 'coming out' of the new potentialities the web has opened in the past 15 years. New connections, collaborations and presentations have been developing for some time now; not based on geography or the participants 'official' credentials. These connections and collaborations, while quieter, are underway everywhere. The YouTube gig was just was just a corporate splash-fest version, what happens whenever bigger media wakes up to some grass-roots movement. And though it can't be measured yet, I'm sure that this virtual crucible's participants will keep many of the connections made, bringing new presentations, ensembles and even careers into being.

    >>Hi, Steve. Thanks for your comments.
    I actually hold toddlers in very high regard. As a matter of fact, shortly after posting this, I wrote a response over at Greg Sandow's blog that actually opens this way:
    "I want to stress that I wasn't trying in the slightest to demean the YTSO players by comparing them to toddlers, but instead to talk about certain bigger creative processes, and what we should expect of them."

    The main issue I had with Tony Tommasini's (sympathetic) review in the NYT is not what he said about the music-making so much as his clear frustration with the fact that it *wasn't* a traditional concert--i.e., why didn't Yuja Wang play the entire Prokofiev concerto rather than just the scherzo, the bleeding-chunks factor of the Brahms & Tchaikovsky, etc. Yes, TT reviewed the music-making more favorably than Anne Midgette did in the WashPo, but I think he missed the overall sensibility of the event.

    You wrote:
    The YouTube gig was just was just a corporate splash-fest version, what happens whenever bigger media wakes up to some grass-roots movement.

    >>If that's true, why do you think that YouTube/Google has any interest in this particular grass-roots movement? I'm really curious to hear your thoughts.

    I think that you're right in that there is (thank the deities!) an incredible wellspring of new connections and collaborations that are either made possible or, at the very least, aided by the web and digital media--and like you, I'm thrilled and eager to see what happens next.


    I love toddlers too, Anastasia. I only wanted to point out that while this is only a first step for some big guns like Google and YouTube there have already been all kinds of similar devlopments, mostly running on sheer pluck as opposed to buckets of money. Even in our own modest way over at the Sequenza21 website (where I've hung out long enough to pick up the unofficial 'official' managing editor spot), just last year we held our second set of concerts of works by fellow composers who hang around the site. (You can read Frank J. Oteri's account here:

    Last summer former Brooklyn composer Jeff Harrington decided, really in one afternoon while lounging around his new home on Sanibel Island, FL., to set up a website for new-music composers and performers, NetNewMusic:

    No restrictions on age, location, language, credentials, style; free uploading and sharing of works, forums, blogs and groups for whatever was on a person's mind... In just this short amount of time there are over 800 musicians from all over the world signed on, over 1800 musical tracks to hear, and plenty of discussion and interaction.

    I'm not saying Google's or YouTube's motives were simply crass commercialism; though there was definitely a large measure of PR involved, there wasn't much you could call hard profit. There's a sense of a 'noble experiment' in there, though perhaps evetually taken over a bit too much by the 'sylists'. That they definitely invented something new for Google, Youtube and other major organizations can't be denied, but I just want to make clear that they're riding a wave created long before them.

    >>Steve: Firstly, I owe you an apology that this took so long for me to see & publish. It was an inadvertent oversight on my part, but still...

    Secondly: I admire & applaud the efforts you mention, i.e., Sequenza21 in all its facets--and I'm a very longtime reader of the site--& the Jeff Harrington site. I appreciate your saying that YouTube/Google may well not have created anything *entirely* new here.

    But I really take a different POV than you on the "why" that Google & YouTube did this to begin with. With all due respect to everyone involved in classical/new music in whatever way, I think it's rather inconceivable that, of all the possible PR splashes that YouTube could make, that anyone there thought that new music per se was going to be the Next Big Thing. I know that some other writers have characterized YTSO as a YouTube effort to class up their joint, so to speak, but I think a company of that size and nature is really focused on more tangible gains.

    By "gains," I'm not talking about immediate profit from the YTSO debut, of course. My long-held suspicion (and that's all it is) is that Google & YouTube know very well that there's a HUGE audience for classical music--and by this I mean very much the standard canon, and emphatically *not* new music--not in the US, but in some of the international markets that they have been trying very, very hard to make headway in. I'm thinking specifically of China as well as elsewhere in Asia.

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