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Please don’t stop the music…

July 28, 2008

I’m meant to be one of those musical types. My mum was a concert pianist before she had my brother and me, my dad is an opera aficionado (isn‘t aficionado an excellent word? I must try and use it more) and my brother has always been in bands growing up, and now DJs with his band. I grew up around music – the house was filled with it, whether it was out of my mum’s stereo or floating out through the living room door as she taught her private piano pupils. As a child, I tried piano, cello, trumpet, singing; as a teen I was in various bands (I was a drummer, bassist and lead singer). But I never had that certain creative spark. Music never bit me like that.

I was at a mate’s house yesterday, and we listened to some of his stuff. Some of it was just piss takey rap music, some of it was things he’d written himself or with bands he’d been in. Then see the music my mates Xtopher, Sophie and Declan have created (for example), and I wonder how they do it – and why I can’t.

Yes, I’m creative in other ways. The one thing I can do (and do really well) is drama. It’s a talent that comes naturally and I don’t feel at all arrogant saying that because it’s the one thing (out of all my interests) that I’m good at and feel comfortable doing – I’m absolutely cack at everything else. But to me, acting is easy. I paint, I enjoy painting in my own style. But even that is easy, really. I love fashion and ‘putting outfits together’ and I’ve always said that fashion and dressing oneself is a creative process and a means of self-expression (rather like an artist painting or a musician writing) instead of something shallow and unnecessary.

But an artist has paint, canvas and the world around him. An actor has a script and direction. I have clothes and accessories. It doesn’t take that much creative power to put those things together naturally, as you see fit. But music? Initially you start with silence. Musicians somehow fill that silence. Even shit bands or artists manage to fill it. I wouldn’t know where to even start. Even with those piss takey rap songs we listened to – it all seems so effortless and natural.

It kinda gets me down because it brings into shade everything I hold dear creatively. My creative outlets aren’t as worthy really. Yes, you can say that others would find my ‘skills’ impossible to grasp, but it’s really very easy. Like I said, I already have the tool to do the job. Music seems to abstract to me, so organic a construct that I genuinely am in awe of those… aficionados who create it.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. John Q Wagonwheel permalink
    July 29, 2008 10:23 am

    Not a dissimilar upbringing to my own. ‘Cept my dad and stepmum are both opera singers and my mum’s a pro clarinettist.

  2. John Q Wagonwheel permalink
    July 29, 2008 10:25 am

    Then again I’ve stuck with music and am shit at all acting.

  3. July 29, 2008 10:40 am

    We’re clearly destined to be together, JQW

  4. July 30, 2008 10:22 am

    I listen to Bach…(and sometimes Mozart and others)

    but actually my comment is about the word “aficionado”. In English it has become to mean an expert. However in Spanish it’s meaning is not as exact as that. An “aficionado” is a fan, not to be confused with fanatic, and it’s connotation is more of a keeness or fondness of something, rather than the expert connotation we use in English. For example a picture of a crowd at a football match would refer to “los aficionados” meaning the fans but not devolving expert status.

  5. July 30, 2008 10:35 am

    Ooooh that’s really interesting, Mikey! And I like that it still holds with my second usage – my music-y friends are both hugely talented, knowledgeable AND passionate fans. *sigh* I’m so clever and I didn’t even know it.

  6. John Q Wagonwheel permalink
    July 30, 2008 10:47 am

    Ah, no worries, I assumed you were using it in the correct sense when you mentioned your parents. ‘Amateur but passionately interested’ would fit.

  7. John Q Wagonwheel permalink
    July 30, 2008 10:48 am

    Although if we’re in for language lessons, ‘Amateur’, rooted in amare, ‘to love’, does really mean ‘someone who does it out of love/passion’ rather than ‘not professional’. So ‘amateur’ would do just as well as ‘Amateur but passionately interested’ in my last sentence.

    Did this get boring?

  8. July 30, 2008 10:55 am

    Hmm? Wha-? *blinks*

  9. July 30, 2008 7:00 pm

    Yes I can be a bit of a pedant over the word amateur. When people say it, I do tend to point out it’s true meaning as JQW described. It has come to suggest “shoddy” which is not correct.

    What are our thoughts on the word “sophisticated”?

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