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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000456.txt from 1999/01

From: (James P Reed)
Subj: Re: [kl] Kenny G Concert Review
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 1999 16:17:50 -0500

Just to add another 2 cents worth to the never ending debate about art
and making money. Many of us earn a living, doing the best we can do,
to support our art or music, and live as best we can.

For instance, I normally teach 8-10 classes per quarter, 4 quarters per
year, to support my photography and my clarinet playing. Truthfully,
it's a better income than I can get with my cameras or horns, doing the
things that interest me but don't generate much in terms of revenue, or
I'd do it some other way.

I'm not always sure why folks get down on people like Kenny G or Pete
Fountain, or others who earn a good income playing stuff that some don't
like. What difference does it make or is it the usual psychological
compensation of having to put down successful people for being imperfect
humans so we can feel better about ourselves and the compromises we've
made or rejected in order to earn a decent living and then struggle with
our art or music?

Much of this stream just doesn't make any damn sense to me other than to
discuss it in psycholigcal terms that would be offensive and that I
prefer to keep to my classroom teaching of psychology, where such
clinical language won't personally offend listeners.

Maybe we're just not able to listen to, appreciate, or understand the
comments Kevin has made about Kenny G on a couple of occassions. Hell,
if I could do half as good as Kenny G, I'd go for it in an instance.
Don't many of us know people who use only one or two aspects of their
profession to make a living so they can do the other things they want,
that may not generate a good living? Maybe even ourselves!

For instance, I can shoot wedding or student photographs all weekend
long and be derided for the caliber of photography it is, which many
people do want regardless of it's lack of artistic expression. Or, I
can focus on fine art work, knowing there's no market for it in many
instances, but it's good for my soul. So, I teach and do the fine art
work for my heart, not my pocketbook.

Sometimes, I think we all take this stuff too seriously, myself included
or I would have stayed silent here. Guess it just strikes a raw nerve
in my own choices about earning a living and making art.

After all, how many people really are that creative, innovative and
willing to starve for an adolescent or infantile idealism? Is it smart
to be a starving artist or not to make a decent living if we can? I
just don't think so. And, as to how people earn a living, damn it
folks, Kenny G or Pete Fountain, etc. are not selling drugs to our
children nor passing on AIDS to them, etc. Why in hell do successful
people often have to be derrided and demonized to make some of us feel
less insecure about our own lives and the choices/compromises we've
made? I guess it all boils down to a lot of sophmoric,
pseudo-intellectializations, huh?

Thanks, and feel free to flame me to your hearts content because I just
don't see the sense in being a suffering or starving artist nor is there
much sense in trying to be God (perfect, infallible, pure, chaste,

Jim Reed

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