What is it to you anyway?!
i’m writting this because through observation, i’m starting to wonder *why* people play this genre of music; call it trad, folk or whatever.. because i’m starting to believe that a good 70 percent of it is unartistic.
when i look at sessions, during the time the music is being played, the musicians have the heads down each sounding the same notes at relatively the same time but they aren’t actually playing together.. technically they are yes but there is no communication. no appreciation of the other persons stylistic individuality, no temporary conformity to it for the sake of the overall sound; to picking up their variations, observing their articulation, and developing it in ones own playing… no nothing, only mindless notes played in exactly the correct order. - usually.
normally sessions are too big so that you can hear everyone so the game is lost to begin with. the music tends to be mono-emotional and a mere exercise in technique as far as music itself goes.
i know that when i go to a session, unless it’s something i quietly organise myself with selected players whom i regard as artists, i go just for the social interaction in which the music takes second place, or to practice aspects of my technique. now if it happened to be a musical session, then i would dive head strong in but largely its not…
it’s just that when i think of it, the amount of occasions when a musician will call another few to create beautiful art is so rare… and i know enough musicians. i’d love to know why creativity, collaborating with others, and exploring the emotional and personal interpretive capabilities of this music is so rare in our genre.. the young rockers with cheap guitars will do it on a freezing grafton street.. and so will the broke jazz musicians all night for 5 euro each in jj’s, aungier street, dublin.. and it is beautiful. why with our genre, is the musical aspect of it so often overlooked?
is it that we’re aiming for the egotistical novelty of playing in the fictitious “pure trad” style to fit in with certain social groups? (that sentence is not meant in the negative sense.) or why is it we deprive ourselves from the ultimate buzz of finding the common ground between oneself and another musician and exploring the other musicians musical personality, stylistic individuality and in the process, creating something unique out of the common ground to the particular musical relationship. it’s a beautful thing, and i do think we’re missing out..