The Present Past of T.S. Eliot
Richard and Eric dive into the deep end of the pool in seeing how T.S. Eliot's "Tradition and the Individual Talent" may intersect with music. This surprisingly short essay (which is hailed as perhaps the best essay of the 20th Century) shows off Eliot's rare genius of getting to the bottom of things as eloquently and powerfully as possible. Beyond poetry, there is indeed quite a bit that is relevant to a number of other artist endeavors, including various aspects of music and music-making. This is an incredibly thought-provoking essay to think through for the discerning conductor, composer, or performer, especially amid our current conception of 'voice,' and our increasing obsession with relevance, self, and self-expression.
Essay may be read here:
Dettmar, K. (2019). A Hundred Years of T.S. Eliot's "Tradition and the Individual Talent". The New Yorker. https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/a-hundred-years-of-t-s-eliots-tradition-and-the-individual-talent