I'd like to enduldge my own ego here and hope that I'm with the majority of people: we just can't follow it. It seems to go everywhere and nowhere. It's like a beatnik poet on open-mic night at a coffee bar: over-indulgent and unrestrained, art for art's own sake. Me? I think that wherever there is art of value, it must always show restraint. The art I most deeply respect, the kind that makes me fall on my face with amazement is the type that leaves little "breadcrumbs" of brilliance as if to say, "Oh yes, Aaron. I am very capable of doing all of it." Yet, in the face of their own immense ability, they surrender it all to the piece; they temper themselves in order to sharpen their communication as an artist.
I'm selling the modernists short, I'm sure. They must somehow be as thrifty in their craft as the rest of us. I just don't get it.
Someone asked me on Wednesday if I planned on attaching myself to a symphony upon completing music school. The thought stopped me in my tracks. Yes, that was always the plan - occupy the principle harpist position with a major symphony/ orchestra/ philharmonic and teach at a neighboring university. Now, it didn't make much sense. It didn't sound fun. You know how many times a symphony plays the classics? Those recognizable melodies that sometimes are made into ringtones?
So as I sit here during the intermission of one of the Utah Symphony Nova Chamber Series concerts, I wonder. Louise, my instructor, is playing today. She loves these modern pieces for their nuance and color. Does that interest come later? Do I get bored with those classics eventually? Or do I resent the fact that I cannot choose the repertoire and plug away at the music as sometimes people plug away at the boring parts of their jobs?
Nope. I have to have Baroque? Why?! Why, why, why?! Why did I have to be a harpist who loves Baroque?! There's like 2% of our repertoire that is Baroque! Plenty has been transcribed, but only a sliver is originally Baroque. And as a principle harpist, I'm not going to be playing any of the transcriptions because the snobby museum-culture that makes up the season ticket-holders just won't allow it. They'll know that only Handel had bollucks enough to write a concerto for the harp, and even then, half of the time the concerto performances harp part was given to the organ. The harp wasn't that important in Baroque music.
But there's a glimmer of hope: The Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Field. I heard them perform at the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Field in London. I have their CDs. They play Baroque on period instruments. And, they have a harpist. That's my in. Even Baroque composers that I just don't care for, I like to listen to. I could take whatever repertoire they throw at me and love it. No metaphorical rectal thermometers. Brilliant!
So, where does this leave me now? I've created such a narrow window to happiness. I have to work, work, work. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, but Jack, in this instance, has a chronic illness to deal with and a big doggie to provide for. All work and no play puts food on Jack's table and pays for his monthly subscription to NetFlicks. That's not a bad life for Jack.
--Blogged on the run using my mobile.