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