Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Competition Part 2

Yesterday, I wrote about my hatred for competition as a daily function. Today, I'd like to say how amazing competitions are at promoting and sustaining the specifics of certain art genres.

People, myself included, have mixed feelings about music competitions. These competitions create anxiety problems for children that last the rest of their lives. These competitions rank art and say whether an artist is a good or bad artist. This is the bad side. There is a good side.

For specific genres of art, competitions promote the specifics of that genre. They perpetuate standards that participants know, respect, and enter in order to grow within the rules of the genre. I am a traditional Irish musician. I do not do everything by the book nor do I believe anyone should unless that's the way they want to express their art. I DO, however, believe that people who participate under an umbrella of a genre should know and respect the roots of the genre. From that base, have fun, innovate your own sound, go your own way!

This past Sunday, we went to the Fiddlers Frolic competition for Texas style fiddling. The playing amongst the higher ranking players is phenomenal. At the end of the day, I'm never sure who will win because I do not know the particulars in the genre of Texas style fiddling. I do know who plays clean, in tune, and with some level of showmanship. But the best person in my qualifications is not necessarily the one playing directly to the standards of the genre. I think this distinction is important when preserving what it truly means to say Texas-style. Players' style with change with time and influence of everything they hear. To be able to come back to the true style, return to the roots, is important if you want to play respectfully as you make choices for your own style.

I love watching this competition. These people are amazing. I would love to witness an Irish music competition, especially Sean-nos song, the roots of the music I feel so deeply in my heart. Who knows if I'll ever make that happen... some day.

No comments: