Yes, I’m still stewing over that blasted article. You know what?
What the hell am I? Am I even a classical pianist? I’ve been classically trained, a very long time ago, and not in any conservatory-bound way, but still. I love classical music. It’s part of my vernacular, and the musical language that feels the most comfy and beautiful to me. It’s my comfort food, it’s my home.
And yet, in this home, people like me are simply assumed to be dead and not exist. I can’t play someone else’s stuff flawlessly. I never will be able to do that. I most especially can’t play it on a schedule or when being recorded like a pro can.
So if what I do doesn’t even exist in that world, and yet what I play sounds for the most part to your average schmoe indistinguishable from classical music … how the hell do I sell this stuff? Is there anyone in the world who would even want to hear it?
If I call it “new age” or “easy listening” piano, I feel like not only am I lying or accepting involuntary eviction from what feels like my own musical home, but the people who listen to new age and easy listening piano will try my stuff out, say, “What the hell? This is classical!” and drop it like a hot potato.
And if I call it “classical,” people will sneer that well, it’s not even that hard and any conservatory kid can play it better than me, completely ignoring the fact that well yeah, but … I wrote it. But if they are busy calling performers “the next composer,” then the fact that I wrote it is apparently utterly worthless. Clearly, having written something is worth less than a spit in the wind in that world.
Really. If that world is clueless enough to say it about Franz Liszt, what hope is there for a schmuck like me to get my own little word out under the “classical” banner?
So what am I? What do I call this stuff? How the hell am I going to sell it? Who is going to care if the only thing they’re listening for is technical perfection and actually having written the piece is completely valueless? Should I just call my stuff “new age” and meekly accept being evicted from my own musical home because the only meager skill I possess doesn’t even count there?
God, this is irritating.