I kid, I kid. But in all seriousness, Sticks and Drones co-authors and music directors, Bill Eddins and Ron Spigelman, each posted articles this week that will get you thinking. One examines the enemy within and the other looks in the same direction for support…
First up is Bill’s piece, titled We Have Met The Enemy…. which pulls no punches on three segments within the business that have been contributing to the current round of problems. In short, he finds fault with music directors, Artist Management companies, and musicians. Granted, that’s a pretty big swath but stick with it as he tends to drill down into specifics right away.
Bill’s piece is fascinating because whether he intended it or not, each one of his individual points is equally interchangeable between groups (with a slight exception for one of the music director points). What’s more, you can apply them to the other stakeholders he left out from his piece, primarily administrators, service organizations, consultants, and the growing cultural-industrial complex.
Next up is Ron’s article, A little help here!!!!!! (these guys really love expressive punctuation). In this article, Ron proposes something that sounds a lot to me like an orchestra field version of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). He calls it an orchestra crisis team but in general, what it sounds like he’s proposing is a system where orchestras pay into a service that provides emergency support during times of critical stress.
As the principal pops conductor for the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, Ron approaches his article from a very personal perspective as he’s dealing with the immediate aftermath of an institution that is in the process of liquidation. He suggests that the his cultural FDIC idea should be a component of the League “or maybe a new organization.”
I think he’s on a better path with the latter idea and although I can’t imagine anything that operates with the sort of resources of the actual FDIC, the idea is still intriguing, especially in light that most groups approaching collapse usually tip over the edge because of a catastrophic collapse within the administrative ranks.
I don’t think I’ve come to any firm conclusions in my mind on either piece but they certainly have me thinking. What about you?