This morning I went down a little web rabbit-hole. From the homepage of the Guardian site I made it to this article from the Observer about young American composer Nico Muhly.
Completely turned off by the gratuitous use of the phrase 'like, totally' in the opening para, but remembering that I'd been quite seduced by a New Yorker article about Muhly earlier this year, I abandoned the Observer for YouTube and listened to a couple of short performances.
Interest piqued, I called up the original article in the New Yorker which pushed me on to their audio archive. And from that page (whilst listening to 'Seeing is Believing') I went on to Muhly's blog.
Late last week, Art and My Life asked why the art world is so snarky. I think my answer (acting as if I'm representative of the art world, which I'm not, but hey) is that it's because we care. We want the art world to be as good as it can be. We hate seeing shitty hangs, facile reviews, and wasted opportunities.
And it's not just us. Look, for example, at Muhly on the New York Philharmonic's opening night gala programme. Muhly takes the programme to school not because he's hating on the Philharmonic, but because he wants their programming to be great. And even I - a near-total ignoramus when it comes to contemporary music - can feel his passion here. He's being snarky cos he loves them.
Actually, you should check out Muhly's blog - he's vastly entertaining even if you don't know one John Adams from the other ... or the other ... or the other ...