I just returned from the International Clarinet festival in Kansas City, MO. My feet hurt and I am exhausted from 8 hour days walking and talking at a trade show, only then to attend an evening performance and do it all over again the next day.
The conference was not well attended in my opinion–what a surprise- given that it was over the 4th of July. And there was not a single reference either through a musical performance or by having a festive picnic or reception to take notice of the passing of a significant American holiday. The conference ran like it was any other week of any other month in the summer.
Artists are like race horses I think. If you have a chance to run a race, no matter how grueling, you’ll run it. Why? Because if your a “winner” you must come hoping to place or at least show.
So, you come with blinders on, all pumped up ready to run rings around another clarinetist with your dazzling feats and you focus on the finish line and forget that anything else matters. I suppose when you want to run a race- or attend a clarinet show over the 4th of July- it must really be for you that nothing else matters. So maybe its good you want to be a race horse or see the horses run.
But for me, the fun comes at the pace of innovation which is hard to find when your busy running, or watching others run, in circles…