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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000022.txt from 2002/05

From: (William Wright)
Subj: RE: [kl] Speculation on a sunny day -- Weird Revisited
Date: Wed, 1 May 2002 11:45:29 -0400

This conversation makes me think about a proper definition for "weird"
in relation to music.

One thing I want to get off my chest --- right now --- is that I regret
my remark that bassoonists are "weird."

Our local music academy gives faculty concerts during the summer, and
one of the highlights for me is the bassoonist, named Benjamin Kamins.
I've never met him, and so I know nothing about him, but when you
compare a punk rocker who smashes guitars to a person who has spent
major money on an expensive instrument and years of his life learning to
play the world's most difficult and beautiful music.... well, the word
"weird" just doesn't fit.

Why do I mention punk rockers? Because two days ago I was in Taco
Bell, and two 'punk rockers' were standing in line behind me. One of
them said (paraphrased), "I don't buy cheap guitars any more. That's
how I got this scar." He pointed to a scar on his forehead between the
two rings inserted into his eyebrows and (if I remember correctly) below
a tattoo on his forehead.

"You mean a string broke and cut you?" the other kid asked.

"No, I smash a guitar at the end of my act, and I bought a really cheap
one and, man, it flew up into my face and did this <pointing to the scar
again>. So I'm not buying cheap guitars any more. I like the sound
sometimes from playing a cheap guitar, but not for smashing."

I assume that if I had challenged this young man about his "weirdness",
he would've given me a lecture about releasing emotions and recognizing
one's primal instincts and so forth..... not to mention, why is smashing
a guitar any different than holding a discordant trumpet note an octave
too high for 30 seconds while bouncing around on the stage.....? Is it
any less weird when the Canadian Brass's tuba player lies on his back
while playing Mozart, for G----'s sake? As for playing on a garden
hose, is that "weird" or is it a novel and an educational demonstration
of acoustics? The truth is that you probably learned something
(perhaps minor, but still you learned something) from hearing a the
trained performer play the hose.

So once again, I retract and apologize for my remark about bassoonists.

And there _IS_ something to think about here.
At what point does expressing the extremities of a musical emotion
become "weird?"



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