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RE: My "Pretty Song"...

Great post, Ted. I always love analogies between art and music...thanks for reinforcing this.  The color pallet or crayon box comparison is wonderful.  And this supports my performance background, having played in progressive rock, art rock, country, world, traditional jazz, and fusion bands....it is nice to be able to pull out a different crayons at any point in time, depending on the social dynamics of the venue. This is why I mentioned having the Real Book at my side at all times....traditional jazz is just one more crayon or shade of colors to choose from. It's like being a Swiss army knife of music performance. I just personally prefer one set of colors at this point in time of my musical journey, which has less public appeal.
You you, I rather felt that your CD was a mixture of black with neon colors. :)

From: ArsOcarina@aol.com [mailto:ArsOcarina@aol.com]
Sent: Tuesday, July 19, 2005 10:52 AM
To: Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com
Subject: Re: My "Pretty Song"...


In a message dated 7/18/05 4:37:17 PM, kris.hartung@hp.com writes:


Personally . . . I rather like it. But then again I like a little bit of everything
anyway, even polka -- when it's done well (with feeling, even thought there
might be little imperfections here and there).

I've been following this thread and have a slightly different "take" on the
whole "art" vs. "audience approval" thing. I spent many long years studying
to be a visual artist long before I ever seriously considered "going public"
with any of my musical nonsense.

The way I look at it, limiting oneself to only one way of thinking/working
harmonically/melodically/modally is like choosing to only use one color
of crayon from the box . . . or only one size of brush (or a paint roller)
or something as a visual artist. It might be nice for an individual piece
(or suite of pieces) but not a whole career -- IMHO.

I tend to look at the choice between using ALL BLACK per se, and using
ALL PASTEL COLORS as more-or-less a choice between avenues of approach
with equal value/merit/creative possibility. Six of one, half dozen of another,
as they say. There is nothing to judge there as long as your artistic motivations
are fairly "pure." Motivations are the key.

In visual art (or any other) I have no criticism of artists who choose a particular
way of working if that's really who they are, or choose to be . . . authentically.
Example, I have no problem with any number of painters who might do most
of their work in a representaional, "realistic" vein. But I cannot abide Thomas
Kinkade (pardon me if there are fans present) http://www.thomaskinkade.com/
His stuff is so phony (and so popular too) really makes me ill.

On a spectum scale of artists' sensitivity, ranging from total indifference to
total pandering that guy is completely off the pandering scale. But I digress.

What are we making music for? To be popular, have the worshipful obessiance
of fans, sexual attraction and all of that? Or to make something we like, choose
to create, make well and with pride, to please, express or to satisfy ourselves
in some way? Or, perhaps, some blurry mix of the two (or other) motives?
Perhaps it is to give others a good time -- a perfectly virtuous and altruistic
aim in itself.

I would guess that a lot of us are a mixture. Personally, if I were still doing my
music in my garage studio as a solitary exercise as I was 20 years ago I could
nearly perfectly content to be indifferent to what an audience might want.
Since I went public, I now (somewhat grudgingly but not entirely) must face
the fact that I HAVE to take into consideration the new environment in which
I do what I do -- the physical mechanics of the venue (the space) the social
mechanics of the people there (the audience and/or other performers). I try
not to pander. But there is an element to it that is akin to doing "site-specific

For myself, I am soooo very limited as a musician that any thought of pandering
and any real possibility of popularity is probably beyond my ability anyway (heheheh).
However, that still leaves plenty of room to be at least a little sensitive to who
is in attendance and how much squonk and noise I should try to get away with -- just
how far I can push the envelope with these folks in this venue. Who else is on the bill?
What sort of musical territory will they be marking out? It just seems sensible to
at least consider these things.

To me, it's all comes back to choosing the "colors" your going to paint with . . . and
that is only a temporary choice. It's not like you have to stick with it for a whole
career . . . or even a whole evening. If I find myself having scribbled the air with
blistering, caustic, black tones and dark chords for most of a set I'l usually give
the audience a reward for their endurance . . . something "pretty," a piece of
dessert music, a little musical after-dinner mint, or something.

Hey, I like "pretty" too. Pastels are nice from time to time.

Best regards,

tEd ® kiLLiAn

"Different is not always better, but better is always different"


Ted Killian's "Flux Aeterna" is also available at: Apple iTunes,
BuyMusic, Rhapsody, MusicMatch, MusicNet, DiscLogic, Napster,
AudioLunchbox, Lindows, QTRnote, Music4Cents, Etherstream,
RuleRadio, EMEPE3, Sony Connect, CatchMusic, Puretracks,
and Viztas. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Blah, blah, blah. So???