Alessandro's article immediately caught my attention from this statement: 'It happens very often to consider the performance of a musician in a superficial way, focusing only on the execution [...]'. My opinion on this is slightly different. As a musician, I can understand how much work there is behind a performance (however different it may be), but the crude fact remains that this work is only taken into consideration - and consequently: criticised, despised and loved - when it is expressed in its entirety: when the work is complete.
For musicians it is during a concert while for sculptors it will be the sculpture on display at an exhibition.
"Just like an iceberg, of which you can only see the tip, you don't fully consider the path that every musician takes throughout his or her life"
This is a clear concept, but we often forget that it can be extended to almost any field: for example, if the carpenter is now able to build a piece of furniture of a high standard with a certain speed, it will be because he has practised and experimented with this other art for a substantial period of his life. In short: there are those who are luckier, but it doesn't work that way in the art. We have to work seriously and professionally, we cannot afford to be "the artists with their heads in the clouds" simply because it would be to our detriment and we would be seen by society as almost nothing, and it cannot be like that, we want to spread art and we cannot do it without dignity.
The tip of the iceberg is the part of our work that we show, so since it is the only one to be exhibited, we have to take care of it and make sure it is very high!
During a concert, the path that led us to move our hands in a certain way rather than another does not count, seeing our fingers move is the minimum for the listener, but if that note has that sound or a phrase shines with an astonishing beauty it will only be thanks to the path that precedes it! The path of an artist, if it is rich, will certainly be communicated and in one way or another will reach the mind and heart of the listener. Art reflects the soul of the person who creates it, and for this reason it is all different, and each performer creates an art of his own. Therefore, whatever it is, it is the path that gives value to the artist.
Unfortunately, one cannot say anything "regardless" and personally I cannot justify a bad performance by thinking: "well, he must have spent a lot of time studying". I'm sorry, but that's a given. You can't go anywhere with catchphrases like 'time is money': you need content, content and content.
When I go to listen to a concert or simply to a CD on Spotify I PRETEND that at the base there is a valuable study, but not only because I am the user but because otherwise the music, if it is empty, fails not communicating and suffering the ignorance of those who are "spreading" it. I used the word 'pretend' because a concert is an exchange also on a material level: to attend you pay money, while in the case of free access (digital or not) what counts is your time. Why are so few people willing to spend €15 to attend a classical concert? Every expense is an inherent human investment, the reasoning is this: I pay a lot of money and what do I get in return?
There is no absolute answer to this question but I would propose three big E:
EDUCATION to beauty;
The first one explains why it is essential to take children to see artworks, visit museums, etc...
The last two in particular make life worth living.
These days I and who knows how many others like me find ourselves "sharing" our art on social media because it is one of the very few means we have available. Yes, well done, BUT this happens possibly without even having received any feedback, criticism or comment. So what are we doing? Where is the joy of performing? Maybe that is not the right place? And the audience? Above all, is there an audience? Someone who is interested and listens carefully?
Please let me know if there is.
It seems to me that ours is just an attempt at sharing, which unfortunately may not work very well: if I publish a video in which I play, I can see the number of views, but of the audience... who can tell me about it?
Social networks give us the illusion of being seen, the illusion of being able to share - even almost at the same level as those who are already "famous" - but the sad reality is that everything is reduced to a continuous scrolling, scrolling and scrolling: unsettling poverty, time taken and thrown away. The result? Anaesthetised neurons.
So with the hope of getting back to making a lot of beauty "live" let's not let the tip of the iceberg only be on social media.
P.S. Thank you Alessandro for your beautiful article,