Milton Babbitt, 1916-2011

American composer Milton Babbitt died yesterday at the age of 94. I admit I don't know a ton about him, and I don't listen to a lot of his music, but I do know that his influence on contemporary "art music" has been great. (And we share the same birthday -- May 10.) So I thought today would be a good day to learn some more about Babbitt and why he was known as such a pioneer in several aspects of music. Below is a short article with a nice summary of Babbitt's life and career, followed by a link to an extensive interview of Babbitt that really gives the reader a good sense of what this man was all about. Avant-Garde Composer, Teacher Milton Babbitt Dies at Age 94: NPR Milton Babbitt: A Disc

Make a plan, and stick to it

This may not be an earth-shattering idea, but actually doing it might be something new. I'm talking about developing a plan and holding to it. Not changing paths on a whim or when things get a little tough. I am talking about sticking to your guns. I have always been one to give up early. Since I was little and playing with Legos with my older brother Matt. I would come up with some lame concoction that kept me entertained for about 10 minutes, give up and head down to the kitchen for a Swiss Roll, all while Matthew would forego food and restroom breaks for 10 hours, only to emerge from the sea of Legos strewn about the bedroom floor with an incredible piece of art (and a full bladder).

It's okay NOT to be someone else

How often do we see our friend or colleague pursuing or possessing something and think, "I should be doing that"? I bet you can think of a time when you felt like you weren't doing enough in your career (or marriage or family or spiritual life) because you saw your buddy succeeding in an area that's not your strong point. I am here to say, it's okay. You don't have to be just like the guy next door (or in your percussion studio, which is the route I'm taking in this entry). It's okay to be YOU, and to pursue what you believe is right. Don't get me wrong, in percussion, it is highly valuable to be skilled and knowledgeable in many areas of the craft, and I don't mean to make an excuse for

I'm a talker

There have been a lot of little things over the past several weeks and months that have made it abundantly clear: I'm a talker FAR MORE than I'm a doer. In every area of my life. I love to hatch a plan, create a scheme, pitch an idea. But the work to make those things reality sucks. And you and I both know talking won't get the job done. Are you a talker or a doer? I'm off to work now.

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© 2019 by Brian Blume