Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Now really. "Something's missing?" Not only is it rather dull.
It's a contradiction of terms.
Something's been on my noodle. Or rather, a nothing has been on it. When one says that something is missing, it really doesn't make much sense, does it... since what's missing is a nothing.
I have an inkling that I don't have enough faith in it - the kind of die-hard presence of mind that walks itself onto a stage and commands your appreciation... or at least provides enough of an illusion of it. I have a feeling true artistes are built on one of two moulds: the ones who discover a beautiful moment and live within it, and the ones who approach the concert as a chance for the listener to discover how great they are (and when they're not actually great, then it's the listeners who have not taken that chance and it's their fault for not having made that discovery).
Said another way, it's either ones who can turn on the hopelessly-in-love-with-live-sound switch on at will... or narcissists.
Now, I'm not saying that it's only these traits that make a good musician. Heck no. These are traits that make good performers - even the ones in the mirror-mirror-on-the-wall group who are less musical than they imagine that they are, because that skill is what will make them survive. Maybe that they'll never make it in their careers because of a lack of actual imagination, or character, or hard work... but heck, they'll think that it's the world's loss and all great artistes are misunderstood. And that will keep them back on stage again and again, and in some cases, just watching that kind of energy has a certain allure in its own right. Because for every genuine narcissist out there, there's a sadist out to get you, with no imagination, and no character, and no hard work.
I seek approval, and dammit, I admit it. And unfortunately that does not bode particularly well in the context. Two of my best performances have been when I've had a distraction at the back of my mind - just enough to take the edge out of seeking approval and letting the hands do what they are supposed to. What they can do.
It does makes me wonder why people who are in-built with a particular additional sensibility and sensitivity would be then matched to a path which is built around events which are completely, utterly, unbelievably self-destructive.
Perhaps because of the things that go beyond events or intent, or image: creation and learning. Because I've had more than two decent performances, and in my past I've touched those magic skills of the encasement of time, as well as, yes, downright narcissism. They are skills, and I was going to say "just like any other" but I won't. Because they are very... special skills, but they are skills, and in time they can be aquired. That I have faith in.
I just hope that this path does not lead to a destiny which needs the complete annilation of seeking approval and in a larger way empathy and a connection to people; I do think that that may just take away some of the essense what approval is then given.
And because I'm still proudly idealistic enough to believe that music and the arts is about life and humanity, and to kill a part of humanity to gain it....
...now, that would just be a contradiction of terms, really.