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Sunday, July 10, 2011

You Do It For You

"To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself." -Soren Kierkegaard

This, you do it for you. You do not do it for "them." I was just telling one of my friends this. He decided to quit music. Out of frustration. Out of lack of . . . recognition.

It's hard. I have said it over and over: it is hard to do this. It's hard to do anything, but it's hard to do something so personal, put it out there, and be forever judged for it. Even if it's not ideal to you. But especially when it is. Like standing naked in the middle of Times Square asking for a physical rating for a living. In art, it's all a bit like talking into the ocean. Or standing waiting to be egged.

To create can be like a death.

But good, bad, or ugly, you put what you have out. You don't grow by being silent or unseen.

"Quand on prend des risques, on peut perdre. Quand on n'en prend pas, on perd toujours."1 -Joueuse (Queen to Play)

Character: "If any sound can be music, how can you differentiate between sound and noise?" Adrian: "Because noise is unwanted sound. It could be Beethoven's 5th if that's not what you want to hear."

I woke this morning to a movie called *(Untitled)* (2009) with a curmudgeony Adam Goldberg as atonal musician Adrian and found the first half to be an oddly hilarious comedy/satire of the New York performance art and gallery scene. The film's all about artists, being appreciated, underappreciated, overlooked, lauded, unheard, misunderstood, laughed at, categorized, and dealing with all of that. Pushing through, true to you and your journey, despite what others may think or assess, despite whether you find an audience or not. In the end, you do it for you--because you must; you don't do it for anyone else. The anguish is part of the process. Unpleasant but innate.

"Is the marketplace the measure of our culture?" -Adrian

Adrian's atonal music includes kicking buckets of chains, crumpling paper, and what many would call noise (though I would call "soundscapes"). Someone asks him why his audiences are small. Adrian: "Because once you move away from harmony and tonality, the audience is very small." He's not unaware. But he carries on because that's his pursuit in life. And at the very end, Adrian randomly encounters a fan 100s of miles away from NY(C) who says one of his shows (with an audience of 7) had changed his life.

You do it for you. Anything more than that is just gravy.

1 "When you take risks, you may lose. When you don't take risks, you always lose."

1 comment:

  1. "Talent is cheap; dedication is expensive. It will cost you your life." -Irving Stone