Intro to my musical style
2. On folk music
When people claim “everything's been done” they're usually referring (whether they realize it or not) to a specific artistic movement, typically one which has gone through various stages, seen its heyday and since lost its steam. The great musical tradition associated with the rise of the European Bourgeoisie (producing such composers as Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Wagner) has run its course and been in decline for over a century. By contrast, folk music (music arising from popular traditions, i.e. peoples' music) has at different times and places begun to develop and thrive; but this progression has always been curbed, appropriated for commercial purposes or at times even overtly sabotaged for political reasons (as in Latin America during the wave of oppressive military dictatorships)-- leaving its full musical potential (in my view) ultimately unrealized.
I have found myself most drawn to Piedmont Blues/Ragtime and to the folk music of South America (mainly from Chile, Uruguay and Argentina). It would be hard for me to explain exactly why these particular styles have appealed to me more than others; I grew up in the Piedmont / East-Coast area and my wife is from Uruguay, so there is definitely a personal connection there (though following that criteria alone I should have also found myself writing Tango / Go-go / Klezmer music). It would be difficult too to explain what particular aspects of my work are influenced by this music and how, since to do so would be to wrongly assume that my music is somehow initially produced in vacuo, and then is allowed to be affected by outside elements. I write my music very intuitively; and even though there are concrete structural ways my music may relate to folk music material, there is no conscious effort on my part to make it serve any kind of predetermined agenda. In the end, I hope my music itself offers enough of an explanation of exactly what it is, how, why, etc.
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