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Re: away with mirrors (was: Re: some thoughts on Ted's queeries about art and self esteem and, oh yeah, looping)

--- Per Boysen <per@boysen.se> wrote:
> That's a damn good point, Michael! I've noticed that
> if a musician 
> THINKS he makes great music, then the resulting
> noise tends to be 
> interesting and enjoyable for most people. And the
> one that constantly 
> keeps mirroring his own efforts in a negative,
> critical sense rarely 
> comes up with anything of interest to others.

And that, in turn, is another damned good point, Per.
Although I can think of many, many exceptions to the
first part, I agree completely with the second.

When I used to play out a lot, it was the hardest
thing for me to accept praise. After a performance,
I'd be self-critically musing about ways I'd screwed
up, and when an audience member would approach me to
say they'd enjoyed the show, I'd point out the flaws.
After I realized that this was basically negating
their opinion ("I had fun." "No, you're WRONG. You
didn't have fun at all, you COULDN'T have. If you did
enjoy that lousy performance, you must not be very
intelligent.") I made a conscious effort to be a bit
more gracious in accepting the kudos, while still
being self-aware of the areas in which I needed
improvement. This made a world of difference. A simple
'thank you' worked much better than a discourse on the
importance of reliable patch cords or how I don't
practice my instrument enough. (I don't, but that's
another story...)

Now, as I start to play out again more regularly after
a long hiatus from frequent live performance, I have
to remember that lesson. It's so easy to fall into "I
suck" mode, and if you project that, the audience will
soon come to agree with you.


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