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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000078.txt from 1999/04

From: (Tony Pay)
Subj: RE: [kl] Deep understanding
Date: Fri, 2 Apr 1999 03:35:02 -0500

On Thu, 1 Apr 1999 23:31:33 -0600, said:

> Roger and Tony,
> There are a lot of strong personalities on this list with very strong
> opinions and large egos (for some strange reason, I have at times been
> put in this category). Tony can come on a bit strong, but that's Tony.
> (I must confess that I have been a "fan" of his interpretations,
> especially his period instrument forays, for a very long time).
> Without taking sides, I think that both your points have been well
> made, and all the others on the list can decide which parts they agree
> with. Roger, while Tony's posts may have an edge to them, (as you once
> said to me) don't take it personally or allow the discussion to sink
> into a cat fight. Whatever one thinks of Tony's or your personality
> traits, pro or con, you both have shown great depth of knowledge and
> ability and deserve respect. Rise above personal animosity (even if
> others do not) as it will increase others respect for you.
> Probably should just keep my keyboard shut.
> Think I would be of any help in the former Yugoslavia?
> Peace,
> Steve


Fundamentally, the sort of disagreement you are seeing isn't a question
of respect, ego or anything personal, actually.

There are some things that we may discuss here that are important in
themselves, and the issue of how we think of musical expression is one
of them. I submit that a clear understanding of what we mean by musical
expression is a very important component in the results we obtain in our
own playing, and when we engage with others, either colleagues or

You might want to think that what happens here should always ultimately
have the quality of a diversion, and that if discussion should stray
into deeper waters, then someone like yourself should cry 'peace!' and
there is a meek return to the shallows.

But in fact, diversion is a minor part of what's available in a forum
like this. As well as pooling all our technical and instrumental
expertise, of which Roger contributes a very fair share, I would say,
there is the opportunity to engage in the discussion of serious issues.
And the discussion of serious issues requires the willingness to try to
say accurately what can be said, and to have the various points that
make up what we say be questioned, tested and debated.

I am very willing to have what I say be examined by the community here.
As far as I can see, this willingness is the most important thing. It's
what's important in the scientific community, and constitutes the basis
of any community of enquiry. And such examination has to be detailed,
by its very nature.

Roger has come to have a very extreme, and I happen to think unfounded
view of what my character and history is, as you can see by his last
post. (When did I ever 'stalk out of a recording session', I'd like to
know? I'm far too worried about the time we might lose ever to have
done such a thing, even if I'd thought of it!) But although posts like
this one cause a momentary jolt of adrenalin, that's not what bothers

What bothers me is how we deal with such things here. All the 'you
both' and 'your points have both' and so on, force the discussion to
stay in the personal. Whereas, in a 'proper' forum, everyone would
ignore the steam rising from the head of any participant and instead
*deal with what they had to say*. Heading your post 'Roger and Tony'
has a similar effect. I want to ask, what do Roger and I have in
common, that you want to deal with us together? You say, 'without
taking sides' as though that would be what you had to do to say
something about what we were talking about.

And another thing. With all due respect, Steve -- and while in one way
I really do appreciate your saying complimentary things about my
playing -- in this context *I don't care* what people think of my CDs,
concerts, reputation and so on. (I actually don't think very much of
them myself, if the truth be known.) So I don't think that sort of
thing should enter the discussion. And it doesn't matter very much if
I'm perceived to 'come on strong' either. So what? Is this a
personality contest?

What would please me is if someone were to discuss some point,
preferably a crucial one, and preferably in a calm fashion designed to
get at the truth of the matter, rather than dealing with this important
issue in terms of people's qualifications, opinions, and how they
express them.

_________ Tony Pay
|ony:-) 79 Southmoor Rd
| |ay Oxford OX2 6RE GMN family artist:
tel/fax 01865 553339

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