so i was recently talking with my wife about music and why she didn’t like certain genres or artists. she enjoys music from nearly as many genres and styles as i do but is a lot less lenient about who, in her opinion, is good and who isn’t. after some deliberation, we came to the realization that the reason she didn’t enjoy whatever it was had little to do with things like style or instrument but had everything to do with, as she put it, “passion.”
since then, i’ve thought a lot about that talk and realized i feel the same way. too often i hear people playing music that reveals no passion, no heart, no soul. that reveals nothing of the player, the person inside. and i too often i find myself thinking, “why do you do this?” it’s almost music by rote. if you’ve heard me play, and definitely if you’ve seen me in person, or, on video, i trust that you understand what it is i’m talking about. it’s not about skill level, not about facility on an instrument, it’s simply about getting the feeling that whoever you’re listening to really loves what they’re doing. it’s that simple. making music involves a lot of time, effort and hard work. if you don’t love it, why bother with it? and if you do love it, it needs to show.
i feel it’s important to remember that most forms of music being played today are largely the progeny of the blues and jazz forms of the late 1800s and early 1900s. that music was born of the hardships and trials as well as the triumphs and hard won joys of the people who played it and lived in those times. that music was played at births and deaths, in churches and brothels. simply put, it’s the music of life being lived. what is life without passion? where is yours?