30. November 2005 · Comments Off on Thinking · Categories: imported, Ramble

The quote below makes me wonder a bit. Does the public want to be educated? And do they want to be educated by the critic? And, even more, does the critic want to be educated … by an “artist”? Could/does the artist educate the public instead? (Or in addition.)

Can a critic be an artist? Do critics perceive themselves as artists? Of course Terry Teachout writes about this much better than I. (Maybe he’s a critic and an artist?) Are all people in the arts “artists”?

I’ve often struggled with the word “artist” when it comes to what I do. I suppose because I don’t create. I play what someone else has created, although of course I add myself into the mix (and many people seem to be able to tell when I’m the one doing the playing; we instrumentalists do have our musical personalities). I admire and envy the jazz musicians who invent on the spot. I envy composers who have music in their heads and can manage to get it down on a page. (I have music in my head—heck, I have artwork in my head!—but I sure can’t get the music on the page and when I used to try to put the art on the canvas or paper it was laughable. Or cry-able. Take your choice! It was definitely pitiable.) I envy the poet (and yeah, I tried that too) and the dancer. This isn’t a mean green envy, mind you … perhaps I should use the word “admire” instead so I don’t sound so dissatisfied; I love what I do and can’t imagine doing anything else!

Oh well. This is a silly ramble. The ears are better today (it was primarily the right ear yesterday, and it actually sent me to bed), but I’m still not feeling whole. I’ll chalk my rambling up to that. I love excuses. (I’m an oboe player, remember? How many times have you seen an oboist stare at the reed, as if it’s at fault for a wrong note, or blow into the keys, implying there was a water problem?!)

In Other News
I have a new project I’m contemplating: I’d like to compile a list of all oboe works for oboe and orchestra. It’s a large task, to be sure. I have a book called “The Oboe Player’s Encyclopedia” but it doesn’t contain newer works and has at least one error (filing what is called the Haydn Oboe Concerto under “H” for Haydn when it is now understood that he did not compose the work). But I like tasks, and I like ones that take time. So I’m pondering and planning. If anyone has suggestions about this, please do email me.

Side note
I’m at the Mission City Coffee Roasting Company, since I drop Jameson off at school and teach soon enough at SCU that it seems silly to go home. Cops often come here, and one was in line when a woman walked in and stood behind him. She just finished brushing off his shirt. I can’t imagine doing that to a stranger much less a cop! Hmmm. Am I odd … or is she?!

Maybe you shouldn’t answer that. 🙂

30. November 2005 · Comments Off on Quote · Categories: imported, Quotes

The critic has to educate the public; the artist has to educate the critic.

-Oscar Wilde, letter to the editor of the Scots Observer (1890)

First seen at Terry Teachout’s site, here.