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Friday, 17 November 2000, 12:00AM

Art in the Age of Spice

Piers Hellawell

The shifting relationship between ‘high art’ and that of popular culture has, in the last 100 years, been polarised to an unprecedented extent. Though the split between the worlds of Stockhausen and the Spic Girls may seem irrevocable, the pendulum did begin to swing back in the 1980s, with rock stars like Frank Zappa attempting to cross the boundaries of genre. Yet we should beware of the modern gloss that boundaries are dissolved by ‘cross-over’ music. Much music may defy categorisation, but that does not mean there is only one music, or that it has a single language; two streams of art may be able to exchange materials while having essentially different priorities.

piers-hellawell

Piers Hellawell is a composer, writer and photographer. He is Professor of Composition at Queen's University in Belfast and was the Gresham Professor of Music between 2000 and 2003. His work has been performed at the Henry Wood Promenade concerts and by the Vanbrugh quartet, Stockholm Chamber Brass and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. He was awarded a Leverhulme fellowship in 2010.

All of Piers Hellawell's previous lectures may be accessed here

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