I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday – someone who I respect a great deal. She’s an artist, and when you walk into her house, it’s like walking into an art gallery. The walls of her converted warehouse are full of art (both hers and other people’s) and the house is a riot of colour, candles, books, records (yes – records) and a contented cat. I love the place.
I also love her, and her husband. They are both quite wacky, and choose to live slightly differently from society. Not hugely, but just a bit.
And I like this lot. I find it refreshing, and inspiring.
It’s hard, as a ‘creative’, to know how to fit in. Do you completely shun normality? Or do you live with normalness on your own terms?
And then I take this line of thinking and hold it up to my cello playing.
Do I play this in the way it’s always been played? If I do what’s the point of playing it again? Some people would say ‘Oh, but you’ll play it slightly differently to insert name of musician here, because you are a different person’. Possibly right. But is that enough? And if I choose to play it differently, when does playing it differently just become artistic onanism, or disrespectful to the composer? Am I playing it differently just for the sake of doing just that?
The classical music word is full of tradition. Sometimes I find it stifling. Actually, a lot of the time, I find it stifling. It takes courage and a lot of strength to walk down a slightly different path. One needs very thick skin, and very broad shoulders. And bloodymindedness. Someone I loved once said to me ‘ Break as many rules as you can, but don’t hurt anyone. And if you get caught, own up immediately.’
But back to my friend (remember her? She’s from the start of this post…). She said to me yesterday ‘I was re-listening to the CD of yours with the accordion yesterday. You know why I like it so much? It’s completely different from anything else we own. And that’s why I’ll keep listening to it.’
I had a crappy day yesterday, full of frustrations and a faulty hard-drive. But that comment made my day.
Note to self – keep breaking rules. Just don’t hurt anyone else.