Times they are a’changin’

A bit of clarification: I am a trained Opera singer, classical pianist, and orchestral conductor.  I try not to be a snob, but apparently if you have these qualifications you inherently are. C’est le vie.

My favorite music to listen to: Folk, blues, jazz.

Am I less of a snob now?

I had the joy of sitting in Malcolm X Park on a glorious day, in February nonetheless.  I was there for a meeting with a group of folks who are working on LEAP Session and LLF.  So when you’re meeting with a bunch of artists and people who are completely engrossed in the Indie Music scene suddenly you feel completely out of your element as a classical musician.

I do not pretend to be a connoisseur of local music – but that is definitely changing.  We started with discussing LEAP Session – a benefit concert for Rare Diseases on February 29th.  A Rare Day for Rare Diseases.

Howard Liebers started the Marble Road Foundation in response to losing a friend to non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  Marble Road is holding the LEAP Session to raise awareness and funds through local music.  He has also initiated this genius idea of Indie Match, which is easiest to describe this way: a local artist is matched to a philanthropic cause of their interest.

Some of the artists who are playing on the line-up for LEAP Session were there – talk about culture shock.  Here I am, this prep school drop out chilling with real musicians, people who actually live their craft.  I hold more respect for these artists then I do for most all classical musicians.

But this is where that disconnect between worlds happens.  I can hobnob and snob with the best, I can look swanky all day long and rub shoulders with the rich, I can read and understand crazy amounts of music, but you ask me to play a blues scale or sing some jazz (without putting in a classical inflection) and I’ll just look at you quizzically.

When one of the artists asked if I was a musician, naturally I said yes and told him the clarification from above.  I am a musician, not the best in my field, but definitely not the worst.  I serve a niche, not the mainstream.  Then again, that’s what all good musicians do.

Then someone chimed in “Yeah, she knows the real music.”  I had to say something to that – it’s all real music and there is plenty of crap in the classical world.  It’s all perception and attitude that makes this an issue.  The upper echelon has put classical musicians on a pedestal, and fucked it up for everyone.  Cheers to you male, pale, and stales!

But then this amazing thing happened, the artists started a session in the middle of the park.  It’s mind bending!  No classical musician would ever do that – their excuses being: it’s too cold, windy, humid, hot, dry, haven’t warmed up yet…  I could go on and on.

Here in this most natural place as the sun was setting and the cold wind starting to kick up was the sound of real music. Unadulterated and purer than what is considered to be high-class music.  Epiphany moment!  Fuck classical music, this stuff is alive and breathing, changing and tangible.  This music has a heartbeat – something which classical music has forgotten over the years.

Are your feathers ruffled yet?

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Comments
One Response to “Times they are a’changin’”
  1. marbleroad says:

    Some video from the sessions in the park, and some additional information about the benefit concert on Rare Disease Day: http://www.indiematch.net/sessions.php

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