All too willingly I got sucked into the Oscars vortex last night. I can’t count how many years I’ve sworn I’d never watch the show again, how many tirades I’ve spewed about how worthless the award is in the grand scheme and how moronic are the voters to grant statues to the films they often do. Yet this year, because several films and people I really admire (including a few I’ve met) stood a good chance of winning, I wanted to watch.
One sure way to obtain my goat is to say of one of my favorite composers that “their music all sounds the same.” Disturbingly, I’ve even heard this accusation spoken of the irrefutable genius (and possibly superhuman) John Williams.
The trouble is, I’ve said or thought the same thing about other composers and artists. We all have. Whenever we are first exposed to multiple works by the same artist, the similarities are often the most prominent elements we hear. It is only after we spend enough time inhabiting those works that we are able to cross what I’ll call the “threshold of distinction.”