The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #161498 Message #3840181
Posted By: Will Fly
20-Feb-17 - 12:34 PM
Thread Name: Radio 2 Folk Awards 2017 - Nominations
Subject: RE: Radio 2 Folk Awards 2017 - Nominations
I've stated quite clearly and categorically that I'm not in favour of awards - and I can see the viewpoints of those people who are in favour of them. I've also made it clear, I hope, that I have no prejudice either way regarding musicians because of age. I'm also up in the modern media and technological world - teaching online, a fairly substantial YouTube presence (nearly 13,000 subscribers to my channel and over 8,000,000 views of my videos), up-to-date websites, etc. - so I'm fully aware of the power of modern media.
What I haven't done is clearly explain my antipathy towards awards systems, an antipathy which is not based on jealousy, reverse ageism (youthism?), resentment or an old-fashioned view of the "tradition". Not being a traditional singer, but mainly a player of tunes and a singer in other genres, the tradition doesn't bother me. So, my reasoning, particularly in the context of music awards, goes:
Music, and what constitutes good, bad or indifferent styles and performances, is a completely personal, subjective and immeasurable art in many respects. One has only to look at the threads on opera and other likes and dislikes in this forum, for example, to see a range of subjective, and perfectly acceptable opinions on all sorts of music and musicians. The nominees for the current crop of BBC folk awards all seem to be fine musicians to me - I wouldn't care to pick a "winner", so what makes them different - any worse or any better or any more striking - than many others working in the field? We can all present our own reasons why X or Y or Z should be the recipient of some award or other, but even the collected reasoning of many people does not necessarily imply the actual superiority of X or Y or Z. It is still a set of personal and subjective likes and dislikes on the part of the judges, about whose own prejudices we know very little.
There are many , many people in this world who do good things without thought of awards and without receiving awards - and many who get awards for what I think are tenuous reasons - the KCMGs, CMGs, etc., handed out as a matter of course to Civil Servants (parodied nicely in "Yes Minister"). While the awards systems in music may bring brief publicity, they mean very little in the ongoing stream of performances and performers by the unsung heroes who also provide excellent music. (If you want some real controversy, look at the current rage and anger over the "white" bias in the Grammy Awards).
One last thought. I also wonder whether - as some have said - that the publicity over the BBC Folk Awards will actually increase the number of people who listen into the music. I see no evidence either way.
So, you may not agree with my thoughts - no reason you should - but I hope they're clear.