civil disagreement

meaning, i am having quite the interesting discussion with a person i respect as a musician. it's interesting, as we have many similar and differing views. for every piece we agree on, there is one we disagree. such is humanity

but a statement made is sticking with me more than others, bouncing around, resounding in my being.

when speaking of art, i said " I fight for my dreams, but accept people are not, on a whole good. in fact, most are selfish creatures...* Doesn't mean I'm not out there every day playing, writing, creating, and trying to make it happen. I just start myself from a harder selling point; "this person doesn't give a crap about what i do...how do i make him/her care?"

the answer" It is not your job to change their mind...do what you passionately believe in while evolving on your journey."

That is a statement i cannot believe in. why?

Because it is my job. It is the job of everyone in the arts. It is the job of everyone in every field. Why should anyone support you if you do not try and get them to support you?

for instance, let's say i put on a concert. I do a little advertising: facebook event, post it on my website, throw up a poster where I'm doing the concert, maybe a few more around town. twenty or so people show up. I know every single person in the crowd. they are my friends...I charged $10 at the door, and they paid, to support me. that's great.

but i didn't reach a single person. that's not an "audience." It's my friends donating to me. they're supporting me because they are my friends. this is not a sustainable audience. this isn't presenting any idea to anyone.

it's preaching to the choir

The arts do not exist in a vacuum. I live in society. As it changes, I change. Society is a living, breathing organism of it's own. I won't sit in my dark empty concert hall consoled by the fact that I'm "the greatest composer ever and one of the best trombonists of this century!" if no one knows it. It's like the Onion article, 97-Year-Old Dies Unaware of Being Violin Prodigy

At the same time, i was having a conversation with another friend that said "Artists are their own brand" (paraphrase as i closed the conversation). Meaning, the only way for an artist to succeed is to put him/herself out there, do the leg work, present their ideas, build an image, build up a group of people that will follow them, touch some lives, bring out new ideas.

Talk about getting both ends at the same time, right?

How i replied to the first conversation is the only answer I really have:

If we can't change their minds, the arts will die. It is part of our jobs as artists to do more than be self-referential. If all i do is sit, practice my craft, get better, it is nothing. If i give a concert and 20 people show up, something is wrong.

All it takes to change a ind is presenting the material. take 15 minutes to try and help someone understand your perspective. you may not change their minds, but if you never try, then you'll be happy with your 20 audience members and be done. and if i wasn't willing to present my ideas, to let you see my side, to "try and change your mind," we'd never have this conversation. And no one would see it, no one would know that we even think about these things.

I will not go quietly into the night, sitting in my empty concert hall. you may call it idealism, but music can change the world.  the arts are society. I will live in it, breathe in it, and present my views of it...it is being an artist...we do not live in a vacuum...

it's not force...it's trying to reach people. if you don't believe you can change their minds, why bother trying to reach them? it's accepting the 20 people as enough. I see a world of people that don't care because they don't know {what i do}. So I'm going to go out, present what i do, not "force" anyone to listen, but give them the opportunity {to hear the music i create}. If i sit in White Hall (concert hall at UMKC) that will not happen. it's not force, it's presentation. it's not accepting the norm, but seeing what we could do...

without that, there is no evolution

And yes, I still respect the person with whom this conversation has happened. He is a fantastic man that does more for "new music" than huge portions of classical music society. I just don't want it to stop, to reach complacency. This man does far more than even I for my own art...it's as a large group of musicians I worry, and as a larger society.

There is always more that can be done...

i am young and idealistic, after all.


And as the final statement in our discussion, stated by my esteemed colleague "THE ARTS MATTER!!!!!!!!"

and, of course, i "liked" the statement. We are, of course, on the same page. prolly more a rant from a single statement not meant to trouble me so. but getting me to think isn't hard and always good.

*Yes, i am a pessimist.

No comments: