Stop and hear the music
My dear friend Boris Pecigos is a source of constant inspiration. He posts blogs daily on his web page, Carobna suma, ranging in subjects from nature photos to photos of his paintings to articles about everything and anything. He recently posted an article about the Washington Post’s experiment with Joshua Bell (you can read Boris’ article here in Croatian and the full Washington Post article in English here). To summarise, The Washington Post’s Gene Weingarten wanted to do an experiment – to get the greatest violinist of his time, Joshua Bell, to play the most exquisite violin pieces ranging from Bach to Massenet on his $3.5 million Strad in a Washington metro incognito and see what happens. What happened was that people under the age of 7 noticed him. The rest walked on by.
Today Boris posted another article – would I be able to stand before the world naked? It was quite befitting in my opinion to the Joshua Bell article as well as singing and performing in general. I think that in going incognito in that Metro station Joshua Bell also felt quite exposed to the point of feeling completely buck naked.
And it is exactly the same way I feel every time I sing in front of an audience, be it on a stage, in a hall or on a street. Because, my theory is that we expose ourselves buck naked every time we sing in front of others. And it goes some way in explaining why people are so afraid of singing. For with singing, proper singing, there’s no hiding behind an instrument. YOU are the instrument. It’s YOUR voice that’s at the forefront. And in my opinion it is YOUR heart and soul that are laid out bare. And it’s God damn hard to lay your heart and soul bare if you are liable to be subject to ridicule and contempt.
But there is beauty in being completely exposed. There is beauty in showing your heart and soul to others, especially when it is done with absolutely no inhibitions or fears. There is beauty in being subject to ridicule and contempt. For remember, in being subject to ridicule and contempt we are also subject to gratitude and love. So, let’s not forget before we open our mouths and sing the words of Frederick Smith: “Fear of failure must never be a reason not to try something”.