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07 March 2008


Matt Marks

Nice rant. Especially refreshing to an musician whose primary display of instrumental (french horn) virtuosity can be displayed by not cracking high notes!
Now we just need to tell all of the IDMers and breakcore heads that fast beats don't necessarily make your music sound better, it just makes it sound more time-consuming...

James Hirschfeld

I'm not disagreeing with anything you say.

I think it really comes down to the integrity of the musician/person. I love playing with "real" people. People who have no airs--just love to make music and have fun. I have plenty of friends who truly are virtuosi, and are some of my favorite players. These people are also sweethearts--respectful, open, unique, honest, intellectually curious, etc...

But I can't stand the jazzy jazz vibe--the "too cool for you" vibe. Luckily, in the independent scene, there is not too much of that, but it is there and it reeks.

About virtuosity---I do like getting better at my instrument, as anyone does. But I know that I will never really become a virtuosic trombone player though. It just won't happen. Luckily, it shouldn't matter. There are players who can play one single note that is more meaningful than any display of empty virtuosity. Trite...very trite, but true and worth thinking about everytime you pick up the horn.


i, too, have love-hate relationship (mild obsession?) with virtuosity. i like practicing that stuff partly because it's so measurable — today it's 120bpm, tomorrow 121, wednesday 122... it's a stupid, petty satisfaction and i love it. i also like being able to make it sound like there's more happening than there really is — aural illusions, which are important when you play the flute and your instrument doesn't naturally sound bad-ass like saxophones do (and bad-ass is really in right now in the circles i run with, for better or worse); you've got to find other ways to wow, sometimes. so, i find virtuosity useful and exciting, but one is always, always riding that line of wankfest that is such a turn-off. i'm looking forward to reading your opinions/advice on how to dodge the evil wankfest.

ben wolfson

I would like to think that I have a post-adolescent relationship to music, but I have to admit myself impressed by Mick Barr, especially on Orthrelm's OV, in part because of its athleticism.

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