Musical Tastes and the CIA

M A Jones mark at
Tue Sep 21 15:12:15 MDT 1999

Schnittke was financed by the CIA? Well, well. That's an absolute
revelation, Paul. Absolute revelation.

Mark Jones

----- Original Message -----
From: Paul Flewers <paul.flewers at>
To: <marxism at>
Cc: <tcrawford at>
Sent: Wednesday, September 22, 1999 5:03 AM
Subject: Re: Musical Tastes and the CIA

> Louis Proyect cited Mark Jones < I'm lucky to live in London. In the
> past six months... I've been watching Schnittke, Berg... > Having over
> the years by chance listened on the wireless to various things by these
> guys, all I can say is that they were some of the most excruciating
> aural experiences I've ever had. Each to his (or her) own, I suppose.
> Apropos modern orchestral music, I've just read Frances Stonor-Saunders'
> Who Paid the Piper?, a lengthy book on the CIA's cultural activities in
> the Cold War. The CIA indirectly financed quite a few events promoting
> modern orchestral music in the 1940s and 1950s. The Ivy League types who
> headed the CIA at that time actually liked this stuff. However, I could
> just picture the typical CIA operative, whose idea of culture probably
> didn't go beyond a burlesque show or a boxing match, listening in pained
> bewilderment at the array of scrapes, squeaks and snorks emanating from
> the stage.
> The book also shows how the CIA also sponsored modern artists, including
> Jackson Pollock. I'm afraid I'm often with Nikita Khrushchev on this one
> -- at an exhibition of modern art, he cried out: 'What did you paint
> that with, a donkey's tail?'
> Paul F

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