If you have not played both and have not made an impression on somebody, then you ought to be an unmitigated failure.
The most important thing about music is the way the music is performed—the way the people are brought to the instrument, and the way the musicians are involved in making the music in the first place. If I had tried to be the best at any one thing, I might well be the most successful artist of that year, or any year, for that matter, but I wouldn’t be the most successful singer or musician as a whole.
What are some of the things the musicians most take for granted, which they often don’t acknowledge? Do you know musicians who take these things for granted?
It is true, though in a few cases you are right—for example, some have had certain people who are their peers, but in most it is more than that. If an individual has never had the opportunity to hear anything beyond a band meeting, to participate in a rehearsal to make up notes, to hear what other people are playing at the venue, to have a chance to experience the stage, to meet the composer behind the music—you probably will never see anything beyond that.
Do the musicians understand what’s on the other side of the stage?
They certainly can, but often, because they are such a young, naive and relatively ignorant bunch of people—if anything, they may not give the benefit of the doubt about their feelings—they also often don’t understand the nuances of what a rehearsal looks like. For example, a student in a group setting might not realize that some students were practicing while we were rehearsing because if you ask for the notes, you’ll usually not hear the first ten seconds of a rehearsal, except the first ten to fifteen seconds. The student may even ask other students for notes.
How would you approach a rehearsal if you could play one on the other side of the stage for an hour? Would you not need to stop and take some notes?
I would be surprised if I would need to, but I would certainly try. If I did, I would try to play to the best of my ability until I realized that I was incapable of going through the motions. If the person behind the music didn’t do it for an hour, though, and that is what it’s really about, the rehearsal would probably be worth it.
How do you feel about the concept of “composition”? I hear people
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