Music, singing, food and cooking – what do they have in common?
It is impossible to cook a good meal for people you don’t like; neither can you give a truly good or great performance for people whom you do not love...even if you don’t know them. Every singer must love each member of the audience – in essence, if not in substance.
Life is a mystery; the chemistry that reveals itself during cooking and that which is evident in musical performance more mysterious still - powerful and addictive.
Keeping to the subject of food; Elizabeth David, in her exhaustive study English Bread and Yeast Cookery, after 547 pages, concludes that we don’t really know how yeast works, but we know that it does – it is the creation of life...it is “a miracle”.
Performers are not ultimately in control of what they create...but they are indispensable to the art of creation. No-one thinks of the yeast when they eat a delicious piece of bread, yet it must have been there to do its work; nor should anyone really consider the artist when they hear a fantastic performance...it should be one - highly trained (it has to be admitted) - individual selflessly channelling only what the composer requires, adding, perhaps, a sympathetic enhancement but nothing which is purely for self-aggrandisement.
Whether it be a concert at the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Albert Hall or in a tiny Parish Church, a true artist has the gift to change other peoples’ lives, purely by being a channel for, and not getting in the way of, the music.
This can be a terrible gift, and one that can be as destructive to the performer as it is beneficial to the hearer: Yet that is why artists exist...
Or, as Marcel Proust put it, rather more succinctly...
Pretentious twaddle, I hear you crying through the ether...but it is what I have always believed, and that is what this website has been about - the Who? the What? and the Why?
If you want to know more, then just click on one (or both) of the links below: Thank you for reading (this rather utilitarian web site) as far as you have!