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Wednesday, June 23, 2004


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You're better than this Karen. One day you'll realize that you aren't just creating this music for yourself. Your skill is a gift to everyone that listens. In a band, you play as one. If you feel the need to compete with the other members of your section, then you have lost sight of the goal. The appreciation of the art transcends any perfectionist feelings that you may be harboring. This is not a lesson you can learn in one day. Most people never learn it. But you are not so self concerned like "most people". Hope remains kiddo. Keep ya' head up.


Music performance (unlike music appreciation) has just as much right to be entered into in the spirit of competition as gymnastics or footie. There are, in fact, objective criterea of technique and interpretation that can be judged as "good, better, best" and if you want to be the best you have to compete to find out. "Most people" may not be self concerned, but "most people" don't know what it is to spend 8 hours on a four bar passage either (I'm thinking of the beginning of the second variation in the second movement of LVB's Pastoral Sonata in D), how much dedication that takes. "Most people" will never dedicate themselves to anything in their lives like that. So don't draw a conclution, just know what you've done, you don't need to know what it means.

Introspection is for the weak.
So what if your interpretation of Chopin is feminine, you're a girly girl.


I've spent most of my life going over four bar passages, I must say. I can certainly say that I understand music performance just as well as appreciation. I have realized that I'll be dead in fifty years and the four bar passage won't matter. Competition is important in my opinion, but it depends on the purposes. I depends on what you are trying to prove and who you are trying to prove it to. If all is being done for your own personal satisfaction, then you have gained much. I am not one of those people who thinks that achievements should be given to everyone because the losers will feel bad. On the contrary, skill deserves all the credit it is due. Only based on our conversations did I make the above assessment of your earlier thoughts. Being a superior performer (in my opinion) involves having so much faith in your skill that it transcends the concept of needing to be better. If you believe it, then you will be. Music was my life for many years, and it still is. But I do agree that it not necessary to find a meaning for what you have accomplished, just know what it is that you have done and go with that. Life isn't meant to be the Mother Teresa show. You have to do something for yourself. Everything you wrote is about deciding what is truly relevant to the life of Karen Lee. None of these comments that any of us could ever make will really even matter. I'm only writing this because I felt like the previous comment posted right after my first comment emphasized the whole "most people" thing I wrote. That comment was not just reserved for musicians, but for people doing everything everywhere. On a different note, I just saw Fahrenheit 911. Agenda or not, there are some really important notions to be taken from the film. I suggest that folks go see it.


I'm not a musician, I've got nothing to do with that part of life; I'm not an artist either. But I totally agree that there's a place for competition in music, but when it gets in the way of finding meaning in the music (or whatever else you're competing in) then it's time to move on.
Apart from that, I think I'll keep my mouth shut on musical matters from here on in...


I don't think you have to be an authority on the subject to make a qualified assessment of the significance of certain portions of performance and/or appreciation. Don't shut your mouth about musical matters. In fact, what you have done is forced me to focus on the danger in making such generalizations without giving proper explanation of all the components I want to convey. Generalizations are very loaded. It is something that we all must be careful of. I wasn't attacking you. I was just trying to defend the fact that I didn't properly explain myself. Thanks for the heads up.


just to weigh in here:

i wrote down that previously very secret feeling of competitiveness with my band members, not so that i could be lectured for it, but rather to call it out, give it a name so that i have to address it. obviously i am aware that it is not a good thing.

of course there are objective criteria which can be ranked "good, better, best" but unlike footie where without the competition, the sport does not exist, there is a different goal in mind and the competition is not strictly necessary for the practice of the art.

my interpretation of chopin is feminine cause i think he was a big fruit. :D


You call that a lecture, dawg?
What I had to say was more like a bubble gum machine, Mickey Mouse, nickel stamp editorial.
I had no intention of lecturing. But then again, you and I have always disagreed about the nature of my intentions. Got your pans yet? See you in a week. Congrats on the Festival achievement.

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