Passion, quality, youth and the lessons for the Arts.


The newly refurbished concert hall.


I recently enjoyed a concert at the Manchester School of Music. It is very moving to see and hear such outstanding skills, passion and affirmation displayed by these young students. If ever you need your battery recharging I can recommend the experience without reservation. They finished appropriately with Scriabin’s Poem of Ecstasy!

It is interesting that these students must have rigorous  approach to craft skills, an ability to produce music of the highest standard i.e repeat the masters, and also impose a personal viewpoint when they interpret the musical message. This approach used to be the standard curriculum in the arts. The language to describe the process within each discipline may have differed but the underlying principles were the same.

As I visit photographic colleges that have embraced the primacy of the academic argument over the need for skills there are clear examples of the effect of academic drift. This drift was seen as danger to practise based courses and seems to have been forgotten. The result is often seen in sterile imagery coupled to dense argument.

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