Now, I'm sure many of you have now mislabeled me as a stuck up contemporary music elitist. Well, I'm not. I hold a firm stance against elitism and the divisions it creates throughout all facets of our society. My issue with the audio production during the first season was the completely obvious pandering. What made them feel the necessity for this? Bringing in a younger audience? Trying to make composition and composers seem cool? Trying to get away from the image of composers with turtlenecks, sport coats, jeans, and socks with sandals? If it's any of these, I think they overshot the mark.
Another observation: their programming seems to have been limited by their interpretation of the term "beautiful." Until I saw Kaija Saariaho's name on the list for season two, the featured composer list seemed very limited in scope for a project aiming to bring classical composition out of the shadows. Many of the features for season 1 were heavily influenced by the post-minimal "New New York School," with pieces composed of diatonic loops and static harmonies. For such a diverse field of styles, why are we limiting the variety of musical styles and influences to be presented in this national/global platform? Again, is it an attempt to bring in the young "cool kids?"
Perhaps I'm just an old curmudgeon (at the ripe age of 27), but I just don't understand why we can't make an effort to appeal to a wide variety of listeners without cheap tricks and limiting our presentations to immediately pleasant compositions.
All this being said, I definitely enjoyed the new Meredith Monk episode and am eagerly excited to listen to Kaija Saariaho.