Pianist and conductor Bill Eddins released the second installment in his pioneering classical music Podcast series, Classical Connections last September and it’s well worth your time to download your free copy to listen (no, you don’t need to subscribe to iTunes in order to have access)……
In this installment, Bill examines what he describes as the “Bad Boys” of classical music during the 1920’s. The title of the show, Classical Connections: Bad Boys is no mistake either; Bill released a CD of piano music in 2002 entitled Bad Boys, Vol. 1.
I know that doesn’t sound earth shattering in and of itself but you have to see the cover and hear the music in order to completely realize the full impact of the message Bill’s is sending home. The CD cover and insert art contains a mockup of a police mug shots and a photographic pictorial of Bill’s “arrest” and subsequent “lock-up”. It all sounds a bit like a hackneyed PR stunt until you realize that Bill is a black man (insert audible gasp here).
But that’s the whole point, Bill is quickly establishing himself as one of those rare figures in the classical music business willing to buck the trend and isn’t afraid to point out that the Emperor isn’t wearing any clothes. Bill attacks classical music stereotypes with a wry wit and razor sharp satire similar to how Mel Brooks used his films to attack racism.
The Bad Boys Podcast examines a few of the damaging stereotypes in classical music’s recent history but you walk away learning more about the origins of the self-inflicted rift which began to separate classical music from the cultural consciousness. But you’ll also learn a hell-of-a-lot more about classical music in the United States at the beginning of the last century and walk away with a much higher level of enjoyment for music from that time and today.
Postscript: I don’t make it a habit to promote projects from artists or organizations here at Adaptistration but I make an exception in Bill’s case because A) It’s a really good product and B) Bill doesn’t do this for direct personal gain. That means he doesn’t get paid to make these Podcasts. That added level altruism goes a long way in my book and if history has anything to say about altruism it’s that good guys don’t always finish last.