Markets in everything

…former Beach Boy Brian Wilson has been authorized by the estate of
George Gershwin to complete unfinished songs Gershwin left behind when
he died in 1937.

He plans to finish and record at least two such pieces on an album of Gershwin music he hopes to release next year.

Here is more information.  I am fans of them both, just not…together.


I have an old college term paper I never completed and will be auctioning off the right to complete it to anyone who wants to turn it into a completed masterpiece.

I agree--"Rhapsody in Malibu" is not likely to produce any fascinating rhythms. Let's call the whole thing off. BTW, wouldn't this have been a wonderful and marvelous experiment in the wisdom of crowds? Release the manuscripts to the public, and if any musician strikes gold by using a Gershwin excerpt, surely a licensing arrangement could be made. Ah, well.

I've just returned from my morning constitutional during which I considered three interesting questions:
1) Do mice have some special importance in the works of P.G. Wodehouse? Examples: The Luck of the Bodkins & Mike and Psmith.
2) If I travel to a parallel universe where I'm a wanted criminal, should I be punished for those crimes?
3) If, God forbid, Brian Wilson dies before completing this marvelous endeavor, who should carry on for him?
On arriving at my doorstep, I answered Yes, Yes, and Paul McCartney. Not a bad morning's work, I think. I certainly deserve to treat myself to a mug of hot cocoa and a couple of Chocolate Olivers.

What would the estate have done if he had proceeded without their permission? Are they claiming IP in songs that were never actually written?

somewhere between
brine and brain
there was brian

somewhere between
pills and wills
there was wilson

I don't want to say that nothing of artistic value could emerge from this. The results could be great... or not so great. But you don't have to be Nostradamus to predict that the results will sound a lot more like Brian Wilson than like Gershwin.
This is not what is usually done in such circumstances. Take for example Deryck Cooke's reconstruction of Mahler's unfinished 10th Symphony.

The so-called similarities pointed out between Brian Wilson and Gershwin would hold true for any creative artists. As an explanation, they are patent BS.
It depends on what you want. If the goal is to end up with results that sound like what Gershwin himself might have intended,
that is a very special skill. Wilson is too much his own man to do anything like that. I'm sure that's not what they expect. I'm sure the explanation is simply that Todd Gershwin is a big Brian Wilson fan.

I'm surprised that they didn't pick Richard Glazier for that job. He is familiar with the unfinished works (and everything else Gershwin has every written with endless context), plays Gershwin every day of his life, and is a close personal friend of the Gershwin family.

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