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I honestly think it would be very easy to shock general society with modern art, but no modern artists are willing to do it.

As far as I can tell, for possibly the first time in history, it is, in general, progressive views that control modern moral propriety. People are tut-tutted not for defying the social codes of the conservatives, but rather the progressives. As such, if you want to shock the moral fabric of society you have to insult, demean, belittle, or otherwise attack the values of progressives. The problem, therefore, is not that we have become immunised against shock, but that the artist themselves, as progressives, hold the moral beliefs that one would have to violate in order to shock.

Another statue of the dark lord drinking the blood of Jesus or a woman flaunting her body in a statement about "feminism" does nothing to disrupt the moral fabric of society precisely because it is not against the moral fabric of society and not because this moral fabric has lost its capacity for shock.
You've hit the nail on the head.
 

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BachIsBest: "As far as I can tell, for possibly the first time in history, it is, in general, progressive views that control modern moral propriety. People are tut-tutted not for defying the social codes of the conservatives, but rather the progressives."
I certainly hope this is the case, and that it continues, if so. When one sees righteous rioting in the streets of Myanmar, Russia, Belarus, Iran, and both righteous and unrighteous rioting in the USA, one yearns for yet more progressiveism. Art and music are often employed in such struggles to maintain and to enlarge the progressives' relatively small empire.
 

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I honestly think it would be very easy to shock general society with modern art, but no modern artists are willing to do it.

As far as I can tell, for possibly the first time in history, it is, in general, progressive views that control modern moral propriety. People are tut-tutted not for defying the social codes of the conservatives, but rather the progressives. As such, if you want to shock the moral fabric of society you have to insult, demean, belittle, or otherwise attack the values of progressives. The problem, therefore, is not that we have become immunised against shock, but that the artist themselves, as progressives, hold the moral beliefs that one would have to violate in order to shock.

Another statue of the dark lord drinking the blood of Jesus or a woman flaunting her body in a statement about "feminism" does nothing to disrupt the moral fabric of society precisely because it is not against the moral fabric of society and not because this moral fabric has lost its capacity for shock.
What do you think of Michael Torke's Ash. Shocking? The expression in music of political and ethical ideas which are no longer acceptable?

 

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What do you think of Michael Torke's Ash. Shocking? The expression in music of political and ethical ideas which are no longer acceptable?

What is shocking about Ash?

I don't know the work, but I found some information which suggests Torke's synesthesia was an inspiration and some found "echos of Beethoven" and Gramophone said of his work, "some of the most optimistic, joyful, and thoroughly uplifting music to appear in recent years."

For example, from a concert's program notes:

"Ash,"written in 1988,is part seven of a larger work, the suite Color Music, where each movement of the suite bears the name of a different color. Torke is said to be a synesthete, that is, someone with synesthesia, a condition such that the stimulation of one sense triggers an automatic, involuntary experience in another. The Russian pianist and composer Aleksandr Skryabin famously "suffered" from synesthesia: for him, each key on the piano painted a different color, and each color evoked a different mood in the composer.Similarly, for Torke, each color "sounds" different from others. Of "Ash" Torke notes that the work makes use of a "fundamentally tonal vocabulary," with chords and chordal fragments leaping from tonic to dominant and back in jerky rhythms. One reviewer finds "echoes of Beethoven" throughout the work in the way the composer deals inventively with small motifs and minimal material. Gramaphone magazine finds in Torke's work "some of the most optimistic, joyful, and thoroughly uplifting music to appear in recent years."
 

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What is shocking about Ash?

I don't know the work, but I found some information which suggests Torke's synesthesia was an inspiration and some found "echos of Beethoven" and Gramphone said of his work, "some of the most optimistic, joyful, and thoroughly uplifting music to appear in recent years."

For example, from a concert's program notes:
Well I brought it up in response to Bachisbest's claim that it is " in general, progressive views that control modern moral propriety. People are tut-tutted not for defying the social codes of the conservatives, but rather the progressives." I wondered where Bachisbest would want to tut-tut it.
 

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As far as I can tell, for possibly the first time in history, it is, in general, progressive views that control modern moral propriety.
I guess something similar happened at the end of the Roman Empire. The Romans accepted Christianty, which was a religion of a conquered people and they didn't protect themselves in the Migration period afterwards.

Today the bourgeosie seems to have lost any values. They don't stand up for conservative values anymore or only if it is hidden behind populism. They are not progressive either but they don't oppose it anymore.

The loss of artistical values like tonality was probably an indicator for the loss of social values later. Progressivism had just an easier game on a cerebral field without practical implications like art. Overall I think this progressivism is an effect of prosperity. With affluence people get more or less stupid ideas. In povetry things are rather inevitably aligned to working principals.

BachIsBest said:
The problem, therefore, is not that we have become immunised against shock, but that the artist themselves, as progressives, hold the moral beliefs that one would have to violate in order to shock.
I think only reactionary statements can shock today, but not if it is art. The thing is if it is labeled as art people will put it into that category and wont care anymore, because it is a category they don't understand anymore anyway because of what the modernists did with it. Art was abused for shocking for too long, so it lost its ability to shock.
 

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I don't know how political art, music or poetry can be, shocking or not. Political changes are made by people who are willing to go to jail for what they believe in, and are prepared to die. The United States didn't win the American Revolution by sending someone off to the battle field playing the violin or marching off with paint brushes and a canvas in hand. Harriet Tubman, Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Nelson Mandela were willing to go to jail or die for their causes.

I don't know what "conservative" and "liberal" mean anymore at least in the ethical sense. Aren't most politicians more-or-less opportunists? They don't respond to what artists, musicians, or poets do; as much as they respond to political pressure that comes from those who will fund or de-fund their next campaign.
 

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I guess something similar happened at the end of the Roman Empire. The Romans accepted Christianty, which was a religion of a conquered people and they didn't protect themselves in the Migration period afterwards.
I agree. I also thought of the French Revolution after posting. My comments were too absolute, but it is historically highly unusual.

Today the bourgeosie seems to have lost any values. They don't stand up for conservative values anymore or only if it is hidden behind populism. They are not progressive either but they don't oppose it anymore.
I disagree. The current bourgeoisie are very concerned with being seen as being progressive. This might not constitute legitimate belief, but I don't think that's too relevant.

The loss of artistical values like tonality was probably an indicator for the loss of social values later. Progressivism had just an easier game on a cerebral field without practical implications like art. Overall I think this progressivism is an effect of prosperity. With affluence people get more or less stupid ideas. In povetry things are rather inevitably aligned to working principals.
Commenting too much here would be delving too far away from being germane to classical music but I will say that progressives and conservatives alike have had their fair share of stupid ideas throughout history, but there is a survivorship bias with regards to good progressive ideas (new bad ideas are generally rejected but old bad ideas often stay past their expiry date) that make people forget this.

I think only reactionary statements can shock today, but not if it is art. The thing is if it is labeled as art people will put it into that category and wont care anymore, because it is a category they don't understand anymore anyway because of what the modernists did with it. Art was abused for shocking for too long, so it lost its ability to shock.
I'm pretty sure it could shock even if it is labelled as art.
 

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"During the 1960s and 1970s, Pollini was a left-wing political activist. He collaborated with Luigi Nono in such works as Como una ola de fuerza y luz (1972), which was to mourn the accidental death of Luciano Cruz, a leader of the Chilean Revolutionary Front. He performed with Claudio Abbado at La Scala in a cycle of concerts for students and workers, in an attempt to build a new public as they believed that art should be for everybody. At least one of Pollini's recitals was beset by audience unrest and concluded upon police intervention when he mentioned Vietnam. Pollini has said that he now questions the way left-wing activists operated in Italy, although he still identifies with the left."

btw, I find him overrated:
(listening to this performance, I feel "maybe Stockhausen is the sort of repertoire he should have specialized in")
 
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