I'm sitting here listening to Muse (a fantastic British rock band), and I'm overwhelmed by a thought: somewhere, music lost its way. Why doesn't much of the music written over the last century affect me the way this does?
Of course that statement is nothing new, but I've long been concerned with how to create music with the visceral power of popular music without sacrificing complexity (in my opinion, Brahms was the last one to get the balance right). Listening to my music, one might not think that about me (maybe in my big band piece), but it's definitely a direction I want to take in my music.
I think John Adams and Osvaldo Golijov come close — certainly closer than many of today's other classical composers. The best film composers, too, though they are generally viewed as outside 'art' music, blend power and prowess quite convincingly.
Does music that has a groove or a beat automatically lose complexity? Should we bother trying to 'incorporate' pop music at all?
I realize I'm opening a can of worms larger than the scope of this blog — this is pretty much the only thing composers talk about amongst themselves — and that I could never come close to commenting on each of the myriad musicians who have presented their own solution to this issue, but feel free to chime in about Brahms, Adams, Golijov, film composers, or if you have a favorite composer or performer that walks and blurs the fine line.