The following guest editorial is penned by Carol Whitney, who you can frequently see performing live at the Kemp Lake Cafe during their open mic, Sundays from 2-5 p.m.
NO competition, NO talent – A Rant
Music is something you can sing to yourself, play to yourself, sing to others, play to others, share with others. MUSIC IS NOT A COMPETITION! [Cursing and swearing under my breath] — and you can listen to others, watch others, and see and hear their music.
Forget flashing lights; they are a distraction. Go and listen and watch people making music. THAT is the gorgeous stuff. Now you can sometimes add flashing lights to bring music into another dimension; sometimes it works well, but by no means always.
You can play music WITH others. That’s one of my personal greatest joys. Jamming with others. I get quite a lot of that at the Kemp Lake Store Music Cafe. Could use a lot more, even. I also enjoy sharing the incredibly sweet tone of my beloved PanTamAnya (my handpan) with others. Just as I used to enjoy wailing away on my fabulous flamenco guitar, by Francisco Diaz of Granada, and sharing its beauty with others – and – playing for singers; very occasionally, dancers (mostly lessons).
[sam id=”5″ codes=”true”]Accompanying flamenco singers is a matter of weaving in and out appropriately” hushing down to illuminate the singing, wailing alongside and then with the phrasing. And you need to know and be able to play the correct measure (compás) without even thinking about it. And you have to know something about the cante (flamenco song) — and I do, most fortunately, having had the opportunity to learn. But my hands are now useless on the guitar; luckily, not on the handpan.
Forget talent: it’s meaningless. Inclination and affinity would be far more useful expressions. One doesn’t have to be a virtuoso to make good music.
And … COMPETITION? Great way to bury meaningfulness in music. Wrong emphasis to reach the art — the art is in the musician-with-instrument (even if the instrument is the human voice).
Most people can find some way to express themselves with music, and to share that with others, so let me encourage you to do the same.
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