Professor McJeebie Declines White House Invitation
I am writing to let you know why I am not able to accept your kind invitation to give a presentation at the Patriotic Computer Music Festival on September 24. In one way, it's a very appealing invitation. The idea of having 85,000 people listen to my Etude for Computer #142 - Faith in the Unheard is a magnificent prospect, especially in light of my recent community-building educational efforts in the tribal regions of Africa through which I exposed the ignorant tribespeople (especially the children) to the complicated cerebrations of computer-centric composition.
As a professor at the Hotel Cadillac, I have taught in many different settings: my office, a variety of classrooms, and even a lecture hall. As a teacher, I have created a lasting influence on the young men and slightly older women who wish to carry on my legacy.
When you have witnessed an African tribesperson - someone who doesn't understand civilized music in the least - learn to accurately notate the wheezing howls of his ritualistic ceremonies for inclusion in the Norton Anthology of Historically Accurate Transcriptions -- when you have seen this kind of progress, you can't help but wonder: Would it be better if all top-down decisions on behalf of democratic citizens are made by composers of the highest scholarly repute?
A distorted musical heritage, the dismissal of compositional counterpoint, and the general acceptance of the untruths of so-called "arrangements" -- all of these lamentable hand-me-downs have been embraced by your administration, with the utmost lack of respect for academic integrity.
So many American professors who had once felt pride in our country's musical reputation - at a diverse range of elite institutions such as Princeton, Yale, Columbia, Juilliard, the Hotel Cadillac and even its sister school at Eastman - now feel anguish and shame. They are ashamed of the current regime's use of virtual orchestras at presidential inaugurations, studio musicians at white house galas, and composers who are forced to "arrange" patriotic warhorses every time there is a pyrotechnic display.
This kind of musical ignorance must end. If it is not too late for Africa, then it is not too late for the United States of America.
TANDY Professor of Electronic Music