I’ve been blogging about three months now, since the middle of March. I’m feeling trapped, like I’ve cornered myself in some abstract corner, in an attempt to present something “high quality” rather than ruminate freely as in a semi-formal journal, which was my original intent.
Part of the problem is that I wonder if people enjoy reading what I write. Yes, I want to journalize, but I also want to write something worth reading. But that can also hamper freedom. Just as I wrote in this post about performing live, if a performance is too planned, it can become superficial, hollow. Ironically, it is a challenge to be focused and free at the same time, to structure free expression, hone it, tailor it, hem it in, without stifling it. How do I find the rhythm of my soul, that elusive vibration, to express here on these pages, without smothering it in trying?
Funny thing is, now that I’m commenting more on other blogs, I’m actually finding my ruminating “voice” there instead of here. And I love how the comments are commented by the original author. So some interesting strings develop with that interaction. All this is new to me. New and rewarding.
So, in the spirit of free flow expression, forgive me if I blab a bit, but I need to unclog the pipes, get the fresher juices flowing.
I’ve been under a lot of stress recently. I am not very skilled at managing multiple stresses. My job as a performer is difficult enough, but I have been on this search committee for a new music director here, and I have been put somewhat unwittingly in a hot seat. What I thought would be an artistic search turned into an arena of political struggle from within the orchestra. I became a representative of one of the sides. I am not a political person, but I have to stand for something. So I knew I had to follow through. I did my best. The power struggle arose in the form of certain candidates being strongly supported by one faction and other candidates by another faction. I braced for a draining struggle. Luckily, the situation became a lot easier for me when a late candidate demonstrated such powerful charisma and quality in his conducting that the orchestra was unified behind him.
But the problem still exists, in the form of resistance from non musician members of the search committee. They claim he will be hard to sell, he will have trouble raising money for the orchestra, that he cannot just be a good conductor. You see, the unifying candidate is Japanese, and is not fluent in English. But he gets his point across fine, and knows how to work a crowd, has a sense of humor, and communicates magnificently through his music making.
Now here’s the part that’s going to make you guffaw. Those members who are opposed to this candidate have not even seen or met him. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is what I’m up against. If these people had been on the committees of the New York Philharmonic, they would have eliminated Leonard Bernstein before they even met him because they heard he was gay. Or the Boston Symphony would not have hired Seigi Ozawa because of his English. How absurd! It doesn’t matter if the conductor is a genius, if he will do great things for the orchestra, if ALL the musicians are united behind him (which is a miracle in itself). Never mind that the political rift in the orchestra could be healed. No, those are irrelevant details. No, despite never having set eyes on this person, never having heard his music making, never having heard his cute, charming sense of humor, no, these dissenters just KNOW he won’t work, period. Pre-judging. Prejudiced.
So we have to wait until we can see him again for those presumptuous dissenters to decide. I’m all for having them visit with him. But I fear nothing will change a mind so closed.
It’s disheartening to see things like this. I guess it’s just part of the “real” world. I haven’t given up. I plan to work on those members, trying gently to show them what the musicians have seen, hopefully using non-confrontational approaches. If I believe in what I am supporting. Hopefully, using my strong belief in the positive effects this candidate can have, I can sway them. That’s a lot of hope!
In all cases; in performance, in blogging, in politics, it’s a fine line, a razor’s edge, which offers quality freedom. Freedom without limitations is basically chaos, anarchy, a dream. The opposite is a stifling prison, communism, fear, living death. The middle road is hemmed in freedom; freedom within one’s given situation, goodness within anarchy, structure within chaos, creation from destruction, hope within fear.