Can we ever know each other even a little without the arts?

Who said this? I dunno. But it’s on Canadian money. So says Melissa. Cool.

Yes, I’m blind. Yes, I’m an idiot. Yes, Melissa clearly told us who said that: Gabrielle Roy


04. March 2007 · Comments Off on See This Movie · Categories: imported, Ramble

I just saw The Lives of Others (Das Leben der Anderen). I would recommend to everyone. Thought provoking. Moving. Great movie.

I don’t really want to write more. Just see it.

04. March 2007 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: imported, Ramble

Cellist Pablo Casals was approached by the father of one of his students who asked, “Maestro, how will my daughter know if she should become a professional?” “If she has to ask the question, then the answer is no.” Casals replied.

Ah yes. As is often the case, the parent was asking the question! We don’t know if the daughter questioned this at all, from this story. (And I have to admit I can’t guarantee, by the way, that this story is true; I only read it on a site and you know how that goes!)

I’ve heard—more times than you can imagine—the old line, “Only do it if you can’t not do it,” about the music biz. And that makes sense. But what everyone needs to know is that even if you “can’t not do it” you might not make it in music. There are no guarantees. And the “Sesame Street Lie&trade: of “You can do whatever you want to do, you can be whatever you want to be,” is simply not true.

A good back up plan is a great idea.

But there is a modesty that is snobbery and one that is laziness, but a much more common form is just plain timidity. Anyone who can read music can write it too – and should. It doesn’t have to be performed, and it may not be very inspired, but to be totally divorced from the act of creation risks making us neighbours rather than relatives to the works we play. And, by the same token, composers who never perform risk writing music that is impractical and even unplayable. (It should be pointed out that the worlds of jazz and of the church organist are two areas where creating and performing have always been indivisible.)

The article is about musicians. Those of us who play and don’t compose at all. And that’s a lot of us, of course.

I actually do “invent” things. I wouldnt’ call it composition because I don’t write anything down, but I invent music on the spot because 1) it’s a great way to escape playing by memory when doing a sound check for musicals 2) it keeps me feeling creative 3) it’s good to know how to do this in case I suddenly need more music (for, say, a wedding) 4) I even used the skill once during a show when I got water in a key and knew I had to ignore one note completely … one that would have been prominent had I played the written page.

Mostly I do it because I can. And so can anyone else. I have my students do this because I would like to free them up. I love playing written music, but there’s a very freeing feeling when one just invents.

Besides, there are no mistakes. Only wanderings. And you can find your way home. Really. The journey can be quite fun, too!

Prisoners are Creative Too …?
This article is about prisoners and opera.

Yep. You read that right. And I say, “Why not?”