Musician’s Manifesto

Hello again.

Six months went by in the blink of an eye and here we are, on the verge of a brand spanking new year.

What caused me to disappear? Or rather, what stifled my voice? My written voice. Hmm, good question.  Well, I did go on a grand adventure to France and England.  It was just supposed to be France, but like all grand adventures, there were a few surprises.

Over the last six months I’ve been a student. I’ve immersed myself in music full-throttle like it was a fresh romance.  I’ve practiced scales, studied theory with a patient tutor, built a small repertoire with a vocal coach and listened to oodles of jazz.

I’m exhausted. Makes me wonder if the honeymoon might be over.

What I haven’t done much of is perform. Like any properly jealous lover, music has kept me away from other people. I’ve gone to a few jams since returning from Europe, but something changed in me. My hunger became different. I could no longer be satisfied with Wednesday night rock jams at the local watering hole. I needed to learn. And so learn I have, but–as with all new and unfamiliar things–that road hasn’t been easy. I feel like I’m playing catch-up in a community full of learned musicians. I still get terminology wrong. I don’t remember everything I need to onstage. I get scared.

What else has kept my voice at bay is this overwhelming feeling that I have nothing pertinent to share with the world. Writing into this void for the sake of the words themselves can be nice. You feel like you’ve accomplished something and by all accounts it certainly looks like you’ve accomplished something. Why, there it is! Right on the interwebs! For all and sundry to gawk at, judge and ultimately dismiss as…what? Vainglorious. After all, that’s what personal blogging truly is–adding your voice to the digital collective, hoping that someone will pick up the sound and carry it back to you.

These days I’m not interested in simply shouting into the void. I want my voice to be used for something else entirely. Creatively speaking, I’m kind of a mess right now. I have a lot of paths that I want to go down, but I can’t seem to settle on one long enough. One day I think it has to be jazz and no other; the next day, I’m leaning a bit more towards pop. Yesterday I thought, “no, Olga. You really ought to put on this here corset and gown and learn a little Puccini.” I can’t settle on anything! I know this, though: damnit, I want to sing. I want to sing so passionately that it’ll bring tears to your eyes and you’ll feel a stirring in your loins.

And so I’m not “choosing” anything. I suspect you’re expecting me to tell you by the end of this post what my new year’s resolution is, Dear Reader. Till now, I haven’t felt like I have one, but I suppose I do: it’s to play music. To keep wrestling with this intense desire and strive for new experiences. And weather each change in my desire as best I can, because it doesn’t stay the same. This period of my life began a year and a half ago and it’s been a whirlwind of change, emotionally and physically. Where it’ll lead to, I have no idea. I hope it leads me to happiness, though. That’s ultimately what you want most in life, right?

Oh, and I resolve to be funnier in the new year. I love puns. I don’t use them nearly enough in life.

Happy New Year!

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4 thoughts on “Musician’s Manifesto

  1. kathy December 31, 2010 at 2:47 pm Reply

    You’re back!!!!!! I’ve missed you!

    • Olga January 2, 2011 at 11:25 pm Reply

      Well you know, if you’re going to get back into that saddle, I suppose I should get back in one myself. 😉

  2. Baroness January 2, 2011 at 3:10 pm Reply

    I see your musical honeymoon hangover, and raise you a trapazoid of choices.

    no musician can ever stand still in one spot and be satisfied. That’s the magic of art and communication. The two are never meant to grab you by the balls and nail you to the floor in one genre. It’s like a river. It flows through a peaceful forest (sounds like Feist), trickles into a steady urban stream (sounds like hip hop), can turn into tumultous rapids like the sounds of rock and roll, and even come out of your everyday kitchen sink, like the dime a dozen pop songs of today and yesterday. One thing is certain: All will eventually end up in the oceans, ready for anyone, be it a lone sailor, or a massive cruise ship full of avid listeners.

    The point? There ARE to many options. I hear you, sister! I, like almost every other artisan out there, feel the same way at some point or another. With so much to say, and so many ways to say it, it’s hard to stay patient and keep up the pace of learning. Biting at the bit with a certain ammount of wanderlust can be trying. But it can also be exciting.

    To want to move forward with a sense of purpose and ambition is something that takes guts. And I KNOW about stamping my fright into submission and aquiring guts.

    Our conversation yesterday left me feeling as lost as ever, but staring at the whole world in front of me as if it were waiting for me to hurry up and hop on. So in that sense, i suppose I have nothing to fear with so many options. But boy is it ever a pain in the ass to try and decide just what to do with yourself.

    ….ok. Lets bring this back to the chorus of the song, and recap this enigmatic, radiohead-like blog response.

    I simply feel your pain. 🙂

    There is one thing though. There’s nothing you can do thats as beneficial as schmoozing,socializing, jamming, talking, sharing ideas, and listening to others. The whole point of playing music is to get your voice out there and say ‘Hey! I got something to say too! Check THIS out!’ and hopefully bring people in and be a part of something bigger that you (that was a run-on sentence, I know).

    So for 2011, I say ‘Man am I ever glad I met you. Lets play some music and try to figure out how to create a fusion of the sounds that make us want to move, and groove… and rock’ And if it’s singing you want to do, then sing you shall.

    Welcome to the newest chapter of your life. Read it well and try not to skim through just to skip ahead of yourself!

    • Olga January 2, 2011 at 11:25 pm Reply

      Baroness, I’m glad we had our conversation yesterday, too. I love especially the last paragraph of your response. I’m going to keep reminding myself that!

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