Why clarinet conspiracy .com? Because it's a clarinet world, but no body understands that. Of course I'm saying that tongue in cheek, but let's face it, since the great Benny goodman, the clarinet is a somewhat under utilized instrument in main stream culture. Not that main stream popular musical culture is anything really to get excited about any way. I mean if I were that Brit guy from American idol, I would not be too proud of the fact that I'm known as one of the people who has influenced modern popular music. In fact I'd love to be on the show just to say to the guy, "you should be ashamed of your self....you ridiculously successful multi-millionaire so and so". Can anyone here say Melisma? I mean really it is so incredibly overused in popular song, its become so trite, but every singer you hear today almost has to pass through the musical authenticity audition by syruping it up with melisma with however much of it you can add at any time. So what we have now are these vapid over produced songs with very little depth, plastic coated, covered in a sheen of melismatic tooth fairy dust.
Then there is the clarinet world...why are people in the clarinet community still trying to champion music that has no audience, that might have been popular over 100 years ago? I'll just leave that question open. I dont mean to be all high and mighty on my blog here, its just that clarinetists should not be afraid to be real musicians. Real musicians who really get out there in the real world and play things for people now in any and every situation they can. When I was walking with my son earlier today, we found a little park area where he could throw stones. I started playing my clarinet, I wasn't playing for anyone, but people did like it and told me so. That may be the only playing I do today, but it was really satisfying.
It is so important to remain true to yourself, to what you originally thought you might bring to the musical table, whether it is a great interpretation of a Mozart concerto or a Theolonius Monk tune. Or better yet, your own song, yet to be written, something you just had to try and play because that is where your inspiration lies. It's almost as if today we have to apologize for who we are.. we need that recognition or that position. We need others to tell us we're great. The singers have to pass the melismatic test, the clarinetists need to play Cappriccio Espagnol. The whole time we're all just looking to be ourselves and are lost in a sea of facade. Well I'm just actually speaking for myself here...this is coming from a guy with the most musically schizophrenic career of all time!! Just look at my calendar of events. Its a musical blender!
Here's an affirmation. This guy came up to me after one of our more creative concerts at a local art gallery here in Cambridge. He told me that he was a mechanic and he had no idea what we just did, but he sat there listening in rapture, totally into it. He asked me what we call it, its not rock, not jazz, he had never heard anything like it before. He wanted to know where he could hear more. This guy was so cool for doing that, it just made me think about the diversity that is out there in our musical community...locally and globally and what an exciting time it is indeed for us musicians in a post modern world and a post modern clarinet world!