Monday, September 5, 2011
Choose Your Weapons
In the arts, as well as at war, it's important to choose your weapons well. I wonder about musicians who go for the most unwieldy instruments. What were they thinking?
I met this young man outside my hang-out restaurant in Malmö. The double bass he carries is almost twice his own size. How many times has he regretted his choice of instrument?
I suspect what I cannot prove: artists are born as such, but coincidence leads them to their means of expression.
I'm not even sure that the artistic talent is genre specific. We're not musicians, writers, or dancers from birth. We're artists, spending most of childhood searching – unknowingly – for a genre and an instrument by which we most readily express ourselves.
That's why it's not easy to define a talent by one art form only. A musician can be more of a poet, a dancer more of an actor, and so on. Coincidence decides. Also, the audience is unprejudiced. They will appreciate a singer for his dance moves, gladly forgiving his weak voice constantly out of tune.
Art escapes restrictions and contradicts definitions.
So, who knows what compelled the young man on the photo above to pick up such a great load? He might have been thinking about the old saying: art is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. In that case, he must be a great artist.
(Click the image to see it enlarged.)