To discuss

And the Ship Keeps Sailing…

Oded Assaf

(English summary of comments on: MUSIC IN TIME – Special Issue Following the Symposium on the Art of Composition Toward the 21st Century, a publication of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance)

The article tries to examine the micro and macro-political undercurrents and implications of the original symposium held in 1998 at the Givat Ram Hebrew University campus and the present (2002) publication. Why, for example, have some of the lecturers not been up-dated or up-graded? What hides, even unconsciously, behind the selection of specific participants from very specific locations? How can the gap between some declarations about multiculturalism or about the contemporary composer being involved in social and political issues and the reality of such a detached and conservative symposium be explained?

In any case, "the Art of Composition" as an autonomous, non-ideological, a-political concept is just an illusion. We have to be careful about this illusion, however useful or "cozy" it may be. In our postmodern world no sound is innocent. And, of course, no valuable symposium can afford to be nave. Should we be the musicians on board of the sinking Titanic, who kept playing their uninvolved music for no one and for nothing?

English summary Valerie Arnon