The music that can most clearly relate to the ongoing concerns in our society is the music that is being created right here right now.
New York City is Mecca to thousands of aspiring artists, especially jazz musicians. But, to twist a phrase into a Gordian knot, not everyone who makes it there, makes it there. When trumpeter Al Kiger decided life on the road wasn’t for him and resigned from the innovative George Russell Sextet, the jazz scene in Indiana welcomed him and he prospered.
While competitive drive can be unhealthy if left unchecked, if focused correctly, it can also be turned into an advantage that can reap benefits for everyone.
Even for those who have the experience and temperament to derive some satisfaction from a well-executed revision, the process of revising definitely sets off different and perhaps less expansive emotions than brainstorming a new, heretofore unimagined composition. What works for you?
Just as reading novels or short stories will make you fall in love with written language and ultimately enable you to more effectively communicate as well as comprehend the world around you, a similarly immersive experience with music will make you fall in love with listening and ultimately enable you to more effectively pay attention to others.
A musical reflexivity exists between genre and locale, a fact that is supported by concepts like: “Chicago” versus [Mississippi] “Delta” blues or “West Coast” versus “East Coast” jazz. In this paradigm, musicians, especially those who improvise, can act as a nexus of many stylistic affectations that might be realized in a unique artistic voice.
It is all too easy for those of us who are active in new music to get so focused on the workings of the business–be they awards, commissions, premieres, recordings, scandals, spats, or celebrations–that we lose sight of the simple gifts inherent within our art form.
There is a peculiar way in which Einstein on the Beach resists critical discourse, but it’s worth trying to figure out what might give this work its strange power. Because it is strangely affecting, maybe even transformative.
What is it about the music industry that seems to dissuade so many talented artists? Some suggest that physical beauty might place an insurmountable obstacle in the way of an artist being accepted as such. But it could just come down to money … or could it?
I’m going to admit what is probably my deepest, darkest musical secret. Of all the potentially career-ending things I’ve said online, this may potentially be the worst. Here we go…