27. July 2007 · 5 comments · Categories: Ramble

I just read this site that suggests that musicians should run world governments.

The idea is that music unites. We musicians … well, we are all just peace loving creatures, right?

Well. Sometimes. But I’ll tell you, I’ve seen and heard some mighty big fights between musicians, and I know of at least one musician that I sometimes deal with who scares me. If that musician were handed a loaded weapon you can bet I’d run for it.

And of course there’s the well known principal oboist and principal flutist who were in a top American orchestra who, rumor has it, wouldn’t speak to each other for years. (Fact? Fiction? Anyone know?)

We play music. Somehow a lot of people seem to think we are like our music. And we are. But don’t forget that while we have some peaceful works we also have some very twisted works and some very angry works. We aren’t all “Adagio for Strings”, you know?

I’ve had audience members come up to me after a particularly moving concert and say something like, “I can just imagine what is going through your mind as you play that! Me? I was in the desert/mountains/Italy [different people choose different places that the music takes them],” and some audience members go on to give me a complete story of their “journey” with the music.

Me? I might be thinking so many things … “Okay, don’t bite on that low note.” “Remember to breathe!” “Oh, you idiot, you totally blew that attack.” “Geesh, if the clarinet plays that softly when I come in I’m sunk on my entrance.” “Okay, after this page it’s a breeze to make it through this.” “Hey, not bad!” “Hey, not good.” “Whew!” “What am I hungry for?” “I just want to go home.” “I just want this never to end.” “I wonder what Dan has made for dinner.”

Yeah. Silly me. But hey, what do you think of while you are working?

Some people think the working together as we do, causes us to learn to get along.

Well, yeah. Sort of. It doesn’t mean we do group hugs, though. And we still argue and fight and some of us don’t speak to others.

Just like the rest ‘o the world.

I hope I’m not shattering your image of us. Musicians are people too. 🙂

Oh dear. Rambling. Again.


  1. Heck, we can’t even run a union!

  2. Fact. The oboist in question has spoken about it at great length in interviews and articles. (see Vol. 21, no. 3) It’s a very interesting and scary situation to have been in! (The not speaking part was afterwards…but they were able to get along musically…)

  3. Peter: Yep, that does seem to be a problem.

    Jill: Can you tell that I neglect reading my issues? Guess I’ll have to get to it, eh?

    The truth of it is, people think that artists can be peacemakers. Do they know how many are a mess? Don’t they remember all those movies about the troubled artists? Hmmm.

  4. Dan makes dinner?? That to me is the most delightful and amazing factoid from this segment. Lucky you!

  5. Oh you BET he makes dinner! He’s a much better cook than I. I’m a cleaner. He’s a cooker. He also grocery shops, and up until Jameson graduated from high school (just this past June) he has always made the kids’ school lunches.

    It’s always at trade-off, of course; he goes off on vacations for weeks at a time. Some of my friends can’t fathom having a husband go away so frequently. I’m fine with it. (I rarely do vacations because what I want to do costs more. Backpacking isn’t quite so expensive!)