I don’t Like It.

I recently performed a piece that I think made the audience …uncomfortable.

Now this piece is a twelve-tone (serialist) work. I think it’s awesome. But it’s not the prettiest thing in the world–it is emotional and effective. Now this piece, Do Not Go Gentle…, was written with the Dylan Thomas poem in mind. And it was written and dedicated to the composer’s father. After reading the poem, it was clear to me that Smith Brindle intended this piece to sound exactly as it does.

Some musicians like to say that people don’t like music because they don’t understand it. I disagree. It’s not as if the point of music is to break it down and understand every little bit. Sometimes the most exciting things are the parts you don’t understand! Understanding music is great, but music is emotional too–not just intellectual.

It’s okay just not like something. Really. You won’t hurt my feelings, and I appreciate that you’ve taken the time to listen.

To conclude my little rant, I’d like direct your attention to Holly Mulcahy’s article How to Alienate your Audience in 10 Easy Steps: Musicians. Number three relates to this post, but the entire article is great.

Posted on in Classical Guitar Tips


  • Cody

    Hi Chris,
    Just watched your performance of the mentioned work on Youtube. Nice work. I am always for experimental and atonal music when it works. While I love a good melody, exploring the tonalities available in the guitar can be just as rewarding.

  • .

    Hi Chris!

    Have you heard John Cage’s modern work 4′:33” ?

    There is a superb arrangement of it, by Apostolos Paraskevas, for classical guitar.

    • Christopher Davis

      Yep, I have “heard” that piece. It’s unfortunate that everyone knows it now. I would have loved to be at it’s premiere. To hear the audience’s uncomfortable silence and whispers or shouts.

  • Derek Reichert
    Derek Reichert

    I think the problem is that people think that music and art are only about feeling good. They don’t realize that art should explore all the emotions. I don’t mean to sound high or intellectual, I just think it can be a narrow minded way to see things.