Mudcat Café message #1318011 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #75139   Message #1318011
Posted By: PoppaGator
05-Nov-04 - 01:44 PM
Thread Name: When do you become a musician?
Subject: RE: When do you become a musician?
This really is a great thread, isn't it?

I was very much struck by something Peter T. (the originator of this discussion) mentioned in his last message:

"...he is carrying around all these ballads in his head, as if he were a vehicle for the music. He is nothing, really: the music in him is everything. It occurred to me that he was a musician because the music was using him, rather than him using the music."

This made me think of an old acquaintance, whose name I won't drop; I met her years ago, when she was a stunningly talented teenager. It took her until about age forty to finally achieve a relatively modest degree of fame and fortune -- by now, she's become a sort of "cult figure," not a tabloid-scale celebrity, but a hugely respected artist among those who know of her at all.

I've never encountered anyone so heavily burdened by their own art, or genius, or whatever you want to call it. It was as though she had no choice but to pursue her musical destiny, no matter how difficult the road would prove to be.

Unlike the guy Peter was describing, this person is hardly a "bum," but she is (or, at least, was -- I haven't seen her in years) an unfortunate soul insofar as her musical identity really seemed to be a burden, like an 800-pound gorilla riding on her back.

If that is what it means to "be a musician," or to be a seriously great artist, I'm glad I'm *not* one -- almost as glad as I am to be able to hear and enjoy such a musician's wonderful work.