Stating the obvious

Here’s something I found in the July issue of Food and Wine magazine, a quote from chef Graham Elliot Bowles:

I’m inspired by artists who use a

limited palette, like painter Piet Mondrian and The White Stripes, two musicians who create an

incredible sound.

And the moral of this story? Maybe it’s

not so obvious. Or at least it’s not obvious in the classical music world. We

tend to think that classical music is serious musical art, and that because of

that, it has a very special status. Meanwhile, out in real life, people find

musical art all over the place, in pop music as well as classical. (Not to

mention jazz.) This is more than a casual observation–it’s an official fact,

certified by sociologists, who’ve shown that people in the arts audience are

now omnivores, interested in popular culture, too. (That’s even true of older

people in the arts audience, or so research has shown.)

So here’s a famous chef, making a casual remark about art he

likes–Mondrian and The White Stripes. How are we

classical music types going to talk to him, if we don’t have some ideas about The

White Stripes, too?

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