Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mozart a Disgrace in Listowel? Maybe

from agnes in the bar at the meadowlands;

You may or may not know of the story of Paul O'Mahony who was accosted and challenged by a Listowel Writers' Week (LWW) committee member for recording an event at the festival. "You're a disgrace", she said. It is not entirely clear what her problem was, but it seems that she thinks recording an event at the festival without permission is a 'disgrace'. I wonder.

Mozart is not generally considered to be a disgrace, but he did not have to contend with the LWW committee. Way back when, Allegri's Miserere was performed regularly in the Sistine Chapel, a public place you would no doubt agree. However, the Vatican thought that this Miserere so special that no written copies of the music were allowed. Young Mozart (fourteen years of age) was unfortunate in that he did not possess an iPhone, so he was unable to copy the piece and blog it, YouTube it, Podcast it - nothing. But he did have a prodigious memory - he memorised the entire piece and wrote it down after the performance - outside the chapel, of course. Disgraceful behaviour. And yet, copies were made of Mozart's notation, and bootlegs, mostly pretty bad versions, went out to the great unwashed.

Which brings me to copyright. And I have no intention of discussing that here. Someone will just rob my post without seeing this part.

Which brings me to the LWW ladies problem with recording. I would venture that she has learnt, or just picked up on, the fact the the music industry hates copying - copying by anyone other than themselves of course. Copying has been a huge bogeyman since the cassette tape was invented. How many people were introduced to obscure, non-mainstream music through cassettes ? And went on to spend a lot of money on LPs, CDs, MP3s - all legal?

Most of the events at Listowel are readings, poetry recitals, sundry live performances. The vast majority of the people involved are not millionaire writers. All of them, I am pretty sure, are more than appreciative of a world wide audience via the web - YouTube, the Fringe Web and for God's sake even the official LWW website! (I am doing a separate post on that matter).

If nothing else, it is surely the duty of a Writers' Week to spread the WORD. To inspire others to read, write and above all to buy the arists' work and support their endeavours.

By using and facilitating tweeters/bloggers/photo-journalists LWW would open itself to the entire world. The LWW committee might be wonderfully amazed at the amount of people out there in the big, bad world who really want to know more about LWW. The amount of people who are willing to take the time to trawl the web for news, videos, readings and photos is vast, absolutely vast. If I was a poet I would love my readings to be heard and available everywhere. I would hope such publicity would be converted into sales, obviously. One cannot eat poetry.

Maybe, at the end of the day, a handshake, even a Virtual Web Handshake would allow the LWW and bloggers/tweeters/citizen journalists get along and promote the LWW itself.

The simple solution is for permission of the artist, not the committee, to be sought with full credit to all artists/readers/performers given and posted.

"Good manners will open doors that the best education cannot"

Mozart pic care of

2 comments: said...

well put. Reminds me of the old adage 'Put a clown on a committee and you get a circus.'

Listowel WW has gotten too precious for it's own good.

rjsolution said...

"Man Pasand Shadi"">Rohani Wazifa"">Taweezat"">Black magic
The Istikhara is an Islamic tradition which is strongly rooted in our culture of Iran, India and Pakistan. Amil Bangali Baba"