Friday, August 14, 2009

Life is a bitter charade

Daniel Wolf sums up the life of the creative artist: some people will never like your work, no matter what you do. Move on.
It is difficult, very difficult, when the music one makes and loves does not make others happy. But when you are in a position to recognize there are some people who will never be made happy by music and others for whom their musical happiness is predetermined by a categorical preference for this or dislike for that, isn't this an opportunity to recognize that these people are lost causes, and it's better to treasure and cultivate people who still have their ears open than to worry about, let alone make music for, lost causes?
I am reminded of the last parish I served as organist, where I grew intimately familiar with two parishioners in particular, seated on opposite sides of the chancel: Mr. The-organ-is-far-too-loud and Mrs. The-organ-is-far-too-quiet. The one was convinced that I was a megalomaniac set upon drowning out the congregation's singing with blaring reeds; the other was convinced that the only thing preventing the congregation's singing from getting off the ground was my reluctance to "open up" the organ sufficiently. By the end of my tenure there, they had both given me up as a lost cause.

1 comment:

Paul H. Muller said...

Our organist at church has the same problem. Best to check to see if those commenting have properly adjusted hearing aids!

Actually our Lutheran sanctuary - made entirely of wood in the Norwegian tradition - has a number of acoustic dead spots so it is hard to dial in the right settings. Or hear the choir past the third row of pews.