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Is Frank Ocean’s new album Blond more artistic, creative and impactful than all of today’s contemporary classical music?

The obvious answer is that you can’t compare apples and oranges, but that’s not the case here.

Stravinsky released his Rite of Spring in 1913 as Ballet Russes newest cross-arts production. The art created a reaction that drove people to riot. They were so emotionally connected to the outcome and felt compelled to riot. They were moved.

When Franz Liszt toured for a few years – people would travel from neighboring villages so they could see the “Great Franz Liszt”. They were seeking to see something amazing. Something once in a lifetime.

Performances can be extremely visceral and leave an impact on our psyche. They can condition us to think and feel in different ways.

What about albums?

Can albums leave an impact?

Frank Ocean’s new album blond is incredible. For me it’s evidence that many of the greatest music artists of our lifetime are now in Rap and R&B. The album has so much creativity and takes so many risks. Where is this in contemporary classical music?

Taking a look at the top of the classical charts you see 95% of the music is from composers who’ve been dead for 100 or more years and 5% from the likes of Max Richter and Olafur Arnalds.

What contemporary classical music is missing is a community of great composers who are being featured in movies, playing in people’s cars and on their phones because it’s desired. Where is the classical music that compels people to talk or to travel to see? Where is classical music that is art?

JT

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