7: RT List Q & A - July
7/6/2007 (updated 7/6/2007)

29. I like music that isn't playing safe, but I do wonder about the
possibility of being misunderstood and to what extent the songwriter is
prepared to risk being misunderstood. Obviously you can't foresee every
possible interpretation of every song, but do you take into consideraton
that somebody might miss the point completely and that just as there are
some people who have concluded that Randy Newman hates short people or
approved of the slave trade, that there might be somebody out there saying
"thats RIGHT! Einstein WAS a heretic! Who does need that mad man Van Gogh!"

RT: You can't please everybody. If you believe in what you are doing, you
have to stick to it. Van Gogh sold zero paintings during his lifetime, but
he had to do what he did, there could be no compromise. Randy Newman merely
divided people into those with a sense of irony and those without. I think
you have to take the chance that some people won't get what you do, and
won't like what you do, and that those that like you now may hate you later,
and vice versa.

Brendan Teeling:
30. In his Reith lectures last year Daniel Barenboim seemed to be arguing
that the amount of music available and ubiquity of opportunities to listen
to music (i-Pods and the like) had in some way made music less important, in
general and to the individual (I'm paraphrasing with great licence!). I
think you remarked previously that you don't listen to that much music. Are
you in sympathy with the view that people don't pay as much attention to
what they listen to as some music demands?

RT: Before the gramophone, there was the family piano, or the guitar on the
porch; the organ and choir at the church; the ploughboy whistling in the
field, and the street-vendor's cry; a military band, a village dance band;
for some, the symphony or the opera. We have so much music now that I feel
sure we appreciate it less. There is also less musical self-expression. It's
long time since I heard someone walking along the street singing to
themselves out of pure pleasure, unless it's in that bizarre way of moaning
along to your iPod. That used to be something you would see all the time.

Brian Wigglesworth:
31. Who shot James Adie?

RT: Pass.