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A character witness account of my friend Wesley L. Curry II

Dear Everyone,

A couple of months ago Wesley inquired by private message how I was doing (as he sometimes does) and I happened to be quite ill (I'm fine now). Wesley took one of my piano pieces, added an orchestral background to it to create a piano concerto of sorts, then recorded a pretend radio broadcast of its première in Chicago, complete with thunderous applause at the end. He said he hoped to make me smile and feel better. And it certainly worked. It was funny and gorgeous. I treasure this “concert recording” as a gesture of friendship, sensitivity and generosity from a kind spirit who lives many miles away.

After leaving the forum in May, I have kept in touch with a few of you via soundcloud email. Yesterday I was told that negative conclusions had been voiced in the forum about Wesley’s personal character.

So I came into the forum briefly just to write this post, which is intended to serve as a positive “character witness” for Wesley. While in the forum, as some of you will remember, Wesley took my “Pas de Deux” piece and created a series of variations of it on the piano. I post the sound file of his first variation below (there are several). I really adore it, but my point is to emphasize the special spirit with which he offered his variations, which came across as a very kind gesture, accompanied by the kindest commentary about “Mrs. Cabral’s music”. When he posted his variations on the site icomposition, he credited me for the theme and additionally volunteered kindly-worded praise about my music.

In the time since I left the forum, Wesley has often inquired about me and my family, has encouraged me to continue composing, made software suggestions, and mailed me CDs when I said I’d like to be able to listen to his music while driving. I have many favorites of his – I absolutely love his beautiful, delicate melodies, and I love the lightness of spirit; take for example his first piano concerto (he now has 4 others): https://soundcloud.com/wescurryii/chilton-piano-concerto-in-d-opus-1

I am therefore fortunate and proud to be Wesley’s friend. I also have friendship for several other people in the forum. And I wish a Happy New Year to each and every one who is reading this.

I request that no negative statements about any person be posted below, please. The intent of this thread is to share my positive experience of Wesley as a generous, kind, and respectful individual.

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Would you like to see some of the things he said that led to these negative conclusions?

Dave Dexter said:
Would you like to see some of the things he said that led to these negative conclusions?

No. I would like you to consider the things Wesley has done that have led to my positive conclusions.
I would like you please to consider that it is not possible to judge another person's character based on their Internet posts.
I would also like you to consider the possibility of judging the ideas and attitudes expressed instead, and spelling out the reasons for your disagreement. People can learn from that. Also, there can be misunderstandings, misinterpretations of what was said and what was actually meant, that become clarified in the process of debating the ideas themselves.

And if you do confront the ideas instead of the person, that action will represent a practical demonstration of the principle that we should not exclude from the community those who do not hold the same moral values as ourselves.

And most of all I would like whoever administers this site to do those things. My understanding is that you are not an administrator.


No, I suspected you wouldn't.



Mariza Costa-Cabral said:

Dave Dexter said:
Would you like to see some of the things he said that led to these negative conclusions?

No. I would like you to consider the things Wesley has done that have led to my positive conclusions.
I would like you please to consider that it is not possible to judge another person's character based on their Internet posts.
I would also like you to consider the possibility of judging the ideas and attitudes expressed instead, and spelling out the reasons for your disagreement. People can learn from that. Also, there can be misunderstandings, misinterpretations of what was said and what was actually meant, that become clarified in the process of debating the ideas themselves.

And if you do confront the ideas instead of the person, that action will represent a practical demonstration of the principle that we should not exclude from the community those who do not hold the same moral values as ourselves.

And most of all I would like whoever administers this site to do those things. My understanding is that you are not an administrator.


So, no holds barred, then? Because we shouldn't exclude people who do not adhere to certain standards? Right...

For the record, Wesley wasn't "excluded" from the community, he caught a week long suspension after having crossed the line several times in the span of a day. There are limits. Wes seems to have deleted his account before the suspension was lifted, though.

Mariza Costa-Cabral said:


And if you do confront the ideas instead of the person, that action will represent a practical demonstration of the principle that we should not exclude from the community those who do not hold the same moral values as ourselves.
Worth mentioning that Mariza was slower to adopt her own admonishments when I called OO a cunt.

If we cannot, even a bit, make a judgement on someone's character after all the awful things they say... well, look. We can. You just don't want to.
When I wrote my post, I thought the administrators had deleted Wesley's account. But he did tell me a bit later that he deleted it himself.

But my main point is that making derisive and conclusive comments about an individual's character is wrong. There are all kinds of reasons why someone can present themselves negatively, and of course their statements and attitude should be questioned and rejected, but it should stop there.

I presented my experience of Wesley, which has demonstrated generosity and respect in his character.

I suggest there is something to learn from this and I hope you agree.



Greg Brus said:

So, no holds barred, then? Because we shouldn't exclude people who do not adhere to certain standards? Right...

For the record, Wesley wasn't "excluded" from the community, he caught a week long suspension after having crossed the line several times in the span of a day. There are limits. Wes seems to have deleted his account before the suspension was lifted, though.

Mariza Costa-Cabral said:


And if you do confront the ideas instead of the person, that action will represent a practical demonstration of the principle that we should not exclude from the community those who do not hold the same moral values as ourselves.
This is not the purpose of this thread. Also, what kind of judgement are you using when you bring a misogynistic word into this thread?

I don't think I called you any names or made sweeping statements about your character. I did complain about you using a derrogatory word for a female body part to attack someone.




Dave Dexter said:
Worth mentioning that Mariza was slower to adopt her own admonishments when I called OO a cunt.

If we cannot, even a bit, make a judgement on someone's character after all the awful things they say... well, look. We can. You just don't want to.
The exchange is one-sided, then. You present your experience of him as a positive but are uninterested in our experiences of him in the negative. If you think we can't form a valid negative impression of him through these, we can't form a valid positive one from yours. And given you apparently don't know/care what he said, you don't get to sweep "nothing negative please" about someone I and a fair few others found abhorrent.

As a piano player, good. As a composer, meh. As a person, truly dire.





Mariza Costa-Cabral said:
This is not the purpose of this thread. Also, what kind of judgement are you using when you bring a misogynistic word into this thread?

I don't think I called you any names or made sweeping statements about your character. I did complain about you using a derrogatory word for a female body part to attack someone.




Dave Dexter said:
Worth mentioning that Mariza was slower to adopt her own admonishments when I called OO a cunt.

If we cannot, even a bit, make a judgement on someone's character after all the awful things they say... well, look. We can. You just don't want to.

To be frank, this entire debacle sickens me to the stomach.  So Wes said some stupid / inflammatory things, OK, he crossed the line and a slap on the wrist is in order. But somehow now that justifies insulting him and verbally abusing him and otherwise making fun of him?  (Or worse, trying to undermine his career -- who appointed us to be the judges anyway?!) What kind of hypocrisy is this.  And meanwhile it's OK to insult certain people's worldviews and humiliate them at every turn without any consequences because we happen to agree that their worldview is nonsense, yet as soon as two words are spoken about something that offends us, a slapdown is in order.  Absolutely juvenile, and no better than the hypocritical politicians we all love to hate.  Sometimes I wonder why I still bother being here.

Chris Alpiar was right, this forum should not discuss anything outside of just music.  It's simply incapable of doing so without turning into a reenactment of the usenet flamewars of old (and a poor one at that).

Perhaps. You say yourself that one can't judge a person's character based purely on forum posts, so if we go with that (which I don't agree on, fully, but that's a topic for another day), then your account can't possibly produce a complete picture, either :)

Regardless, my conclusion of recent events remains unchanged. Good character or no, one remains responsible for their actions. Wes said some nasty things; they got deleted and he was suspended. There was some reactionary thread in which badmouthing of Wes took place, that thread is gone too. Anything else that crosses the line will be treated accordingly.

Of course, mods with their subjective opinions are the judges of what is or isn't acceptable but well, what can you do?

I do find it curious that you aren't interested in hearing what it was that Wes did that generated so much hostility. I should think you would be worried enough to try and investigate, seeing that he is a friend of yours. But... well, each to their own, I suppose.



Mariza Costa-Cabral said:

I presented my experience of Wesley, which has demonstrated generosity and respect in his character.

I suggest there is something to learn from this and I hope you agree.
As someone who became (through study and examination) a radio amateur many years before there was an internet I have one thing to say here. When in conversation with any other radio ham anywhere in the world only two subjects were off limits. Yes, you guessed right. Politics and religion. If I were still an admin here, I would have used my long hook before it got to this. No suspension, straightforward ban. Kid gloves don't work, give an inch, take a mile.

Mariza, the conduct of any member outside of what is written on the board here is irrelevant. Curry the second was out of line here.
Dave, you do yourself no favours what so ever in the use of that four letter word. Offensive to me? No. Totally unnecessary here in this forum? Yes.

Sincerely
Raymond Kemp
About my not being interested to know what was said here: I am interested, but do not want it posted again here on the forum. If you think about it, you probably don't want that, either. I have gotten much of it from a friend in a forum, and I can ask for more details from him or others. If you want to email me screen shots of something I absolutely should see, Greg, then you can do so.

However, and again, my point is that there is a lot more to a person than meets the eye. You can say "this is awful, here's why it's awful, and we will suspend it for a week", but this is different from making a general statement about the content of the person's character. I hope you can agree with me that there is a big distinction.





Greg Brus said:

Perhaps. You say yourself that one can't judge a person's character based purely on forum posts, so if we go with that (which I don't agree on, fully, but that's a topic for another day), then your account can't possibly produce a complete picture, either :)

Regardless, my conclusion of recent events remains unchanged. Good character or no, one remains responsible for their actions. Wes said some nasty things; they got deleted and he was suspended. There was some reactionary thread in which badmouthing of Wes took place, that thread is gone too. Anything else that crosses the line will be treated accordingly.

Of course, mods with their subjective opinions are the judges of what is or isn't acceptable but well, what can you do?

I do find it curious that you aren't interested in hearing what it was that Wes did that generated so much hostility. I should think you would be worried enough to try and investigate, seeing that he is a friend of yours. But... well, each to their own, I suppose.



Mariza Costa-Cabral said:

I presented my experience of Wesley, which has demonstrated generosity and respect in his character.

I suggest there is something to learn from this and I hope you agree.

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