Peter Maxwell Davies
What do British people do when they get really angry about their elected officials spending hideous amounts of taxpayer money on things like life-size statues of Winston Churchill made out of Legos? They write an opera, of course.
The other day I was thinking about composer Alexander Zemlinsky, who once shaved his face using shoe polish instead of shaving cream. He nearly poisoned himself to death. Zemlinsky popped into my head for two reasons: first, because his music seems to be flying on a wave of appreciation fifty years after his death. Second, because nearly killing yourself by smearing shoe polish all over your face is so incredibly absent-minded professorish it’s almost admirable. To live life like that! So engaged in art that nothing else matters! I love the idea.
But . . .