Why This Isn’t A Queer Music Blog.
I know what you’re thinking, blogging is so 2009. And yet here I am at the threshold of 2012 and I’ve decided to start blogging. I’m a little late to the game but I’ve decided to start writing about something I feel passionately about: Music by Living Composers.
Initially I had planned on blogging about New Music by Queer composers, in and out of queer spaces. Without deference to prevailing classical politeness, I was going to call it Queer Muthafuckin’ Music. While classical audiences have long been titillated by queer subject matter, the works in question aren’t always affirmative of queer identities or written by queer composers. Queer content has often served a provocative, role in classical music. In opera, crossing gender lines has for centuries given audiences occasion to giggle with glee at the kitsch spectacle of it all. In a genre where women have a tendency to meet tragic or at least unhappy ends lesbian Lulu never had a chance. That’s the past, so let’s talk about new music and living composers. On several occasions I’ve been asked not to sing music with expressly queer subject matter. I know of composers who have had interest in their works dashed because of uncertainty over audience reaction to the queer positive content of their works. In today’s performance landscape it seems tragedy for queer characters and jokes at their expense are in, but things are dicier if they’re not the butt of jokes and live happily ever after. There are some fantastic notable exception’s like Steve Wallace’s opera “Harvey Milk” and Peter Eötvös’s “Angels in America”. Of course, “Harvey Milk” is a tragedy but it ultimately has a message of hope that transcends the bullet that ended Milk’s life.
On further consideration I decided to scrap the idea of a queer new music blog. I’d rather not further contribute to the ghettoization of queer content. These works, their composers, their performers and their audiences should stand on equal footing with less fabulous heteronormative works. As a gay opera singer in a field populated by queer performers, composers, and audiences I find it strange how queerness is represented in the literature.
This isn’t a queer music blog, but I will be writing about some queer muthafuckin’ music.