Last weekend was a time of great highs, and a few lows. It’s getting to the time of year when I am tired and drained. Practising is hard in the morning – although it’s light, it’s hard to drag my sorry arse out of bed in the morning. I am tired of fighting within the education system to prove to the people who make decisions how important music education is to children – especially to children who are exposed to trauma. And, just like you, when I’m tired, everything is felt more keenly.
So when I get a review that completely misses the point of what I do in a magazine it makes me sad. It seems that the reviewer totally missed the point about what I was trying to do in my last CD with David. For a start, he called it ‘a mismatched patchwork’. Since it was really just a recording of how I’d present a concert, I know not to invite him to a live concert. When I talk to audience members after concerts, they like the patchwork. In fact, they love it. (Maybe I’m talking to the wrong people?) ‘Questions of style seem beside the point’ he wrote. Hmm… is this a compliment? An insult? I still can’t tell…. He finished by smothering me with condescension and calling the disc ‘a labour of love’. It really is what I expected from the establishment, but a little part of me was hoping I would be wrong. That they would see what I tried to do. But they didn’t. Sigh…
And while I was descending into the murky gloom of a bad review, I was performing at MONA. Which was incredible. I was playing with one of my favourite performers, in an amazing space (a room full of barrels of wine) with beautiful acoustics. And people flocked to see us play. When we weren’t playing, we went for a wander in this amazing place. Full of fabulous art. Full of people wanting to be in this place consuming fabulous art. Musicians playing in all sorts of places. David Walsh wandering around welcoming people. It was one of the most wonderful weekends – and so ‘non-establishment’. I loved it. It was a privilege to be there. And it inspired and nourished me.
Coming home, very tired, on the plane, I realised I like being outside the establishment. I’ve written about this before. Because if people like David Walsh and Brian Ritchie are there, that’s where I’d like to be. With Judith, my artist friend, and David, Vero and Anthony. All of my musician friends who will push boundaries. We’re certainly not going to be rich. But we will remain true to ourselves.