About SFIM Books

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SFIM Books evolved as a response to the need for publications that speak about art in a way that presents rational arguments about the value of the aesthetic view of life. 

Non-pop music creation (what we label classical music and art performance not primarily designed for revenue maximization), much of visual art (aside from commercial application), and literature suffer from a pervasive perception that their relevancy to life is a self-indulgent distraction from more pressing matters, such as capital accumulation, scientific enterprise, medical research, career training in industries supporting these fields such as law, and business management, politics and on and on. These are the so-called serious, important aspects of life.

There is continual argument over whether the environment really is being destroyed, whether there really is injustice or simply excuses, whether people can actually freely pursue their “happiness,” diatribes about religious ideals--morals, life’s purpose and so on of this ilk. These are the so-called “soft” issues of societal paradigms.

Yet, it is an incorporation of the aesthetic with the rational--intelligence with sensitivity to life--that is the only perception that can address the so-called serious issues of life. However, it is the failings of the artistic community to teach, discuss, and transmit what art is about in a way that a strictly logical person can accept as having value in itself that has rendered the aesthetic viewpoint largely irrelevant to people of “importance.”

Unless the aesthetic can be taken seriously as a true and valid perception of reality, there is literally no way to even see the problems that underlie, that create, the “issues” of the day that are somewhat seriously discussed. Problems of this same sort, but related to music education, led to the creation of the San Francisco Institute of Music in 2002.

Because musical talent has been accepted by the musical community as inexplicable, the training of students and the methods of masters have not been seriously examined. What methods are being taught to students? Whatever musicians guess to be true.

This means that at the foundation of the field there are no basic, fundamental truths to be found. Can this, in fact, be a reasonable approach? 

All artistic fields suffer from this perception that the general public has of art, true or not. This was not true in Leonardo Da Vinci’s time, when painting was viewed as a science, as a way to learn to see the world. Our pervasively undisciplined educational approach to art would come as a surprise to Tchaikovsky, Bach, or Prokofiev.

If there is rigorous discipline and knowledge required to practice any art at a high level, this would not be apparent from the superficial way it is taught in any public or private K--senior grade of high school. 

The San Francisco Institute of Music was founded because (contrary to accepted practice) talent, to a great extent, can be explained to students. All great musicians did learn to play. The school’s purpose is to rationally discover and explain the underlying biases that lead to masterful achievement in musical skill.

SFIM Books seeks to expand this way of looking at artistic discipline beyond the training of classical musicians--composers, instrumentalists and singers. We believe all artistic fields can benefit from this approach. We intend to publish material that supports and furthers this paradigm.