Art is not perfect ..... neither is Glassynails

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
glassynails
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Art is not perfect ..... neither is Glassynails

Post by glassynails » Sat Apr 25, 2015 4:04 pm

I occasionally listen to various recordings on my YT channel "glassynails" and think to myself that none of my recordings are in any way perfect or at least to my liking. I don't have a lot of subscribers and I get an occasional nice comment about my playing, but I still cherish my recordings as imperfect as they are and am proud of all the work that I've done over the years. I view my channel as organic and ever changing .... hopefully someday for the better and not the worse. I try and re-record the bad recordings as I get better at playing them and chuck the ones that I'm no longer interested in. The whole process is an evolution in art that makes a statement about how I see things musically and my ability to convey these ideas and ultimately is a statement about me. I view my channel as a living breathing organism that is constantly evolving and that excites me! I truly often amaze myself at what I can do, but of course there are many times when I "wished I could've done this differently or that, etc, etc" .... that I'll have to leave to "evolution".

I oftern view some great player (usually Segovia ... :lol: ) and think "Wow, if only I could play as easily and effortlessly and "perfect" as he can .....", but you know that's not important, because that's not me! I'm me and Segovia is Segovia .... I have to be me and be honest! If I'm a crappy player then that's who I am! I'm doing the best that I can here and I have nothing to be ashamed of. On the contrary I'm not ashamed of what I can't do, I'm proud of what I've accomplished no matter who would laugh at that or think that I'm full of myself. Hey it took me many years of hard work to do what I've done and although the result might not be "up to par", it's an honest statement that I'm making about the art that I cherish. Art is not stale and always a carbon-copy of everything else, art is without limits, it's sometimes good and sometimes bad. It's usually in between good and bad and is subjective.

If I get one nice comment on one of my recordings in all the years that I record that's all that matters! All that matters is that ONE person enjoyed something about even a few seconds of my playing, that's enough satisfaction for me! We all can create art no matter what level we're at in our pursuit. We're too used to viewing people like Segovia and Williams and thinking that only they are worthy of making art and that all of our endeavours are in vain and "less that ideal" and not art .... THEY ARE ART!

So for me (and I guess that's all that's really important) my recordings are not in vain really. I will always view my recordings as unfinished and will most likely never be fully satisfied with any of them. The positive thing is that I am somewhat happy with some of them and even now a few I am even awed that "I could do that" even though the "holier than thou" cg crowd would say that the recording is terrible, etc. So I guess at the end of the day, if I'm happy with a particular recording and everyone else think's terrible it doesn't matter, because I'm happy with it and that's all that matters to me.

If I or someone just listens to even ten seconds of a particular recording and is satisfied or fullfilled then what is bad about that?? I have accomplished my goal! You see, there is no ultimate level of perfection in art itself, there are only attempts at what we the inerpreters see as perfection and others will see things differently. Even the best cg players get thumbs down and negative comments about their playing at times on YT. You'll never please everyone, you can only attempt to please yourself and hopefully some others will see your art the way that you do and be pleased also. That's all that matters.

I have to admit that I love listening to Segovia play at times, but even more than that it's more pleasing for me seeing the "less-than-segovia" players "attempting to play like Segovia" ..... or merely trying to play the piece at hand. I don't want to see the same old "great" playing all the time, I want to see the attempts at it, the sweat, the tears, that's what interests me! The cg critics will see a phrase that should've been played like this or that "so that it'll come out like J Williams or Russell can play it" :roll: ,but I see an honest attempt and the art itself of someone trying to show us how they see things ... not Russell or Williams!

I also view the "attempts" by YT amatuer players as exactly that "attempts"! You don't have to comment that the piece is "terrible" or they should've played this or that differently, because some of them already know that! The cg is a difficult instrument to express ourselves on at times and sometimes even though we hear the "perfect" phrase in our minds it obviously doesn't come out as we hear it. It's simply not always that easy. A lot of people don't realize that these "attempts" are not written in stone forever, they are merely an expression of what the artist could accomplish at the time of the recording. The next recording he or she makes may be a little .... or a lot "better". Just as animals evolve, so do our attempts at art and performance and that's what excites me!

So in closing, I'd like to say that all of us no matter what "level", we're at in this art have something to offer. The critics may turn their noses up to your performance, yes, and even you may at times, but when you don't and they do then it doesn't matter what they think, all that matters is what you think about your playing!

Let's go make some art people! There are no limits, everyone is welcome!

I leave you with one of my "attempts" at making music. Are there things that I don't like about this recording? Yes, a few things, but there are also a few things that I like!
[media]https://youtu.be/K8s3uoYttqw[/media]
"GLASSYNAILS" on Youtoob for my "no edit" - "no fakery" audio recordings. Just me, my Alhambra 7p spruce, and an Olympus ls-10 portable recorder.

Glenn

Re: Art is not perfect ..... neither is Glassynails

Post by Glenn » Sat Apr 25, 2015 8:45 pm

Just curious, how come you don't do videos of your playing?

glassynails
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Re: Art is not perfect ..... neither is Glassynails

Post by glassynails » Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:08 pm

Glenn wrote:Just curious, how come you don't do videos of your playing?
I think it takes away from the music somehow and I also don't like seeing myself on camera. :lol: It's me playing though, always right into my trusty ls-10 recorder and I do it all in one take. I may be eventually posting video again though. I recorded this in a cement stairway, that's not artificial reverb, by the way.
"GLASSYNAILS" on Youtoob for my "no edit" - "no fakery" audio recordings. Just me, my Alhambra 7p spruce, and an Olympus ls-10 portable recorder.

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Erik Zurcher
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Re: Art is not perfect ..... neither is Glassynails

Post by Erik Zurcher » Sat Apr 25, 2015 10:06 pm

Playing all the right notes, rhythm and keeping the pulse does not make it art. It's just craftmanship. It becomes art only when an extra layer of musicallity is added, a personal touch: a variety of tonal colours, phrasing, dynamics, orchestration, etc. There are many fine guitarists in the world, but only a few who can really move me: John Mills, Matthew McAllister, David Russell, Pavel Steidl, Marcin Dylla and of course Segovia and Julian Bream (and a few dozen others).

Is their art perfect? Maybe on a good day, but they also add something extra: that undefined notion we call artistry. We all strive for perfection, yet we don't wish to sound like a midi file. Every brilliant piece of art has a mystery: you recognize it, but can't put it into words, because art is a language beyond words. Images can be helpful. How many times have I not heard in a masterclass: 'play this as if it were a flute' or 'play this as an echo', etc?
Reedition Domingo Esteso by Conde Hermanos 2004; Kenny Hill, model Barcelona 2001
"While you try to master classical guitar, prepare for a slave's life: the guitar will forever be your master and you its slave".

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Moje
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Re: Art is not perfect ..... neither is Glassynails

Post by Moje » Sat Apr 25, 2015 10:27 pm

Hey glassy, just an observation . . . I can't shake the feeling that you're self-conscious about the little mistakes, for a while your handle described the videos as "crappy." (I'm not stalking you, it's just that you post a lot of threads!)

There's nothing crappy about your playing, it's very expressive and that all-important "CG tone" is there, many people never really accomplish that. I kind of envy the enthusiasm you have, learning so many pieces, and I notice there's always a disclaimer "only practiced this for a few days" or something like that. Why not have it both ways, have another channel for pieces you really have nailed down? Take the Granados recording, it's a good performance with a couple mistakes; there's a world of difference between making a mistake and not knowing what you're doing.

Aside from that I feel like there's not enough emphasis on listening to each other here, I take your point. Any time someone posts the common "is it immoral to use high-tension strings," or "what's more important, technique or feel," the thread goes on for miles. But in the "recordings" forum it's common for someone to post some damn fine playing and the comments section is empty, nothing but crickets chirping.

Kudos, it's guys like you who make me want to get off my "it's not good enough" behind and post something. Not today though. ; )
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glassynails
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Re: Art is not perfect ..... neither is Glassynails

Post by glassynails » Sat Apr 25, 2015 10:48 pm

Moje wrote:Hey glassy, just an observation . . . I can't shake the feeling that you're self-conscious about the little mistakes, for a while your handle described the videos as "crappy." (I'm not stalking you, it's just that you post a lot of threads!)

There's nothing crappy about your playing, it's very expressive and that all-important "CG tone" is there, many people never really accomplish that. I kind of envy the enthusiasm you have, learning so many pieces, and I notice there's always a disclaimer "only practiced this for a few days" or something like that. Why not have it both ways, have another channel for pieces you really have nailed down? Take the Granados recording, it's a good performance with a couple mistakes; there's a world of difference between making a mistake and not knowing what you're doing.

Aside from that I feel like there's not enough emphasis on listening to each other here, I take your point. Any time someone posts the common "is it immoral to use high-tension strings," or "what's more important, technique or feel," the thread goes on for miles. But in the "recordings" forum it's common for someone to post some damn fine playing and the comments section is empty, nothing but crickets chirping.

Kudos, it's guys like you who make me want to get off my "it's not good enough" behind and post something. Not today though. ; )
Thanks Moje! That makes my day!
"GLASSYNAILS" on Youtoob for my "no edit" - "no fakery" audio recordings. Just me, my Alhambra 7p spruce, and an Olympus ls-10 portable recorder.

glassynails
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Re: Art is not perfect ..... neither is Glassynails

Post by glassynails » Sat Apr 25, 2015 10:53 pm

Erik Zurcher wrote:Playing all the right notes, rhythm and keeping the pulse does not make it art. It's just craftmanship. It becomes art only when an extra layer of musicallity is added, a personal touch: a variety of tonal colours, phrasing, dynamics, orchestration, etc.
Thanks Erik, but that's your opinion. "It becomes art when" ?? I don't agree with that sorry. Art is what you make it and it's subjective. To say that because someone doesn't play as well as Segovia or your list of "top players" doesn't make them not artists. I think everyone is an artist, some just have more experience and skill in expressing there inner art. Sorry I don't agree with your limited view. There may be (in your opinion and mine) better (that's subjective) artists, but even a "crappy" player is still an artist nonetheless.
"GLASSYNAILS" on Youtoob for my "no edit" - "no fakery" audio recordings. Just me, my Alhambra 7p spruce, and an Olympus ls-10 portable recorder.

MarkInLA
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Re: Art is not perfect ..... neither is Glassynails

Post by MarkInLA » Sat Apr 25, 2015 10:58 pm

I like it..sounds fine. I'm doing the crossword puzzle in a Starbux in Los Angeles, with your recording on. Very relaxing and, well...., Spanish-y.
Whatever mistakes you made didn't ruin it for me. I don't own the sheet for this, but 'm going to get it and learn it, too. ...Mark

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Erik Zurcher
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Re: Art is not perfect ..... neither is Glassynails

Post by Erik Zurcher » Sat Apr 25, 2015 11:18 pm

In your vision every 'crappy' guitarist is still an artist. I disagree with you. I believe that there are many people who consider themselves as artists (youtube is full of them), but perhaps my standards are higher than yours? I would never consider my own playing on par with real artists like Julian Bream or David Russell. I am not in that league. I am an amateur player, but not an artist. People don't cry when I play, they applaud for politeness.
Reedition Domingo Esteso by Conde Hermanos 2004; Kenny Hill, model Barcelona 2001
"While you try to master classical guitar, prepare for a slave's life: the guitar will forever be your master and you its slave".

glassynails
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Re: Art is not perfect ..... neither is Glassynails

Post by glassynails » Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:48 am

Erik Zurcher wrote:In your vision every 'crappy' guitarist is still an artist. I disagree with you. I believe that there are many people who consider themselves as artists (youtube is full of them), but perhaps my standards are higher than yours? I would never consider my own playing on par with real artists like Julian Bream or David Russell. I am not in that league. I am an amateur player, but not an artist. People don't cry when I play, they applaud for politeness.
So amateur players cannot be artists? Real artists like Bream? Bream may play "better" than you, but you're still an artist and he is also. There are different "grades" of artists. Sorry, I still don't agree and not to be rude, but I'm glad I don't have such a narrow view of things. A person that creates art is an artist. Whether or not there art is of any value is rather subjective. There are great artists and mediocre artists.
"GLASSYNAILS" on Youtoob for my "no edit" - "no fakery" audio recordings. Just me, my Alhambra 7p spruce, and an Olympus ls-10 portable recorder.

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Re: Art is not perfect ..... neither is Glassynails

Post by Erik Zurcher » Sun Apr 26, 2015 8:36 am

glassynails wrote:...A person that creates art is an artist...
Any child on his first guitar lesson becomes suddenly an artist?
Reedition Domingo Esteso by Conde Hermanos 2004; Kenny Hill, model Barcelona 2001
"While you try to master classical guitar, prepare for a slave's life: the guitar will forever be your master and you its slave".

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Paul Janssen
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Re: Art is not perfect ..... neither is Glassynails

Post by Paul Janssen » Sun Apr 26, 2015 8:51 am

Moje wrote: Aside from that I feel like there's not enough emphasis on listening to each other here, I take your point. Any time someone posts the common "is it immoral to use high-tension strings," or "what's more important, technique or feel," the thread goes on for miles. But in the "recordings" forum it's common for someone to post some damn fine playing and the comments section is empty, nothing but crickets chirping.
I agree with this. I find it quite sad that people take the time and effort to post videos and recordings that often go unnoticed. Sure there are exceptions, but as a general rule....

For me, listening to other players on this forum is one of the best things about this forum and I truly appreciate it when people share their recordings with us. What's more, this often inspires me to learn new pieces. For example, I remember Glassy that you posted a recording of Sor's Op 35 no 8 Allegretto. Listening to this inspired me to learn it and it is now one of my favourite pieces to play. For that I am truly grateful to you.

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Re: Art is not perfect ..... neither is Glassynails

Post by glassynails » Sun Apr 26, 2015 1:12 pm

Erik Zurcher wrote:
glassynails wrote:...A person that creates art is an artist...
Any child on his first guitar lesson becomes suddenly an artist?
A beginning artist, yes. :lol:
"GLASSYNAILS" on Youtoob for my "no edit" - "no fakery" audio recordings. Just me, my Alhambra 7p spruce, and an Olympus ls-10 portable recorder.

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Re: Art is not perfect ..... neither is Glassynails

Post by glassynails » Sun Apr 26, 2015 1:19 pm

Paul Janssen wrote:
Moje wrote: Aside from that I feel like there's not enough emphasis on listening to each other here, I take your point. Any time someone posts the common "is it immoral to use high-tension strings," or "what's more important, technique or feel," the thread goes on for miles. But in the "recordings" forum it's common for someone to post some damn fine playing and the comments section is empty, nothing but crickets chirping.
I agree with this. I find it quite sad that people take the time and effort to post videos and recordings that often go unnoticed. Sure there are exceptions, but as a general rule....

For me, listening to other players on this forum is one of the best things about this forum and I truly appreciate it when people share their recordings with us. What's more, this often inspires me to learn new pieces. For example, I remember Glassy that you posted a recording of Sor's Op 35 no 8 Allegretto. Listening to this inspired me to learn it and it is now one of my favourite pieces to play. For that I am truly grateful to you.

Thanks Paul!
"GLASSYNAILS" on Youtoob for my "no edit" - "no fakery" audio recordings. Just me, my Alhambra 7p spruce, and an Olympus ls-10 portable recorder.

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Re: Art is not perfect ..... neither is Glassynails

Post by markodarko » Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:02 pm

The artist debate is interesting. I think it has two sides. Anyone picking up a guitar and playing a composition of their own making is an artist. However, the real artistry in playing someone ELSE's composition is in bringing it to life.

Someone playing a cruddy version of Bach (for example) is no artist in that respect as they're not doing justice to the beautiful notes written on that piece of paper. They are not re-creating its intent. The art is both in the music and in the performance. They are not separate things. Without one or the other it's just blobs of ink on paper.

To be able to completely call yourself an artist you either have to create and play your own music or do justice to someone else's by recreating it as best as possible. That's no mean feat and requires great skill, feel and judgement - which is why the likes of Bream are artists and Joe Public bashing out a version of Bach is not. And rightly so.

In my humble opinion, obviously.
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