The Artist as Communicator

It always irks me when a musician is asked about the meaning of one of his songs, and he responds with something along the lines of, "I'm not sure exactly what it means myself. It might mean something different to everyone." What this tells me is that this particular person should not have written this song. The artist is a communicator, and if the artist, be he a musician, a moviemaker, a painter, a sculptor, or a writer, does not have something to communicate then he shouldn't be creating.

Reading La Vita Nuova by Dante, I was quite happy to find that he agrees.
"...for it were a shameful thing if one should rhyme under the semblance of metaphor or rhetorical similitude, and afterwards, being questioned thereof, should be unable to rid his words of such semblance, unto their right understanding. Of whom (to wit, of such as rhyme thus foolishly,) myself and the first among my friends do know many."

Comments

Erica said…
On the other hand, most of the musicians I've heard say this were also on some manner of illegal drugs when they wrote the song in the first place. This probably explains a lot.