Sunday, January 06, 2008

Artists and athletes

I have always been a little concerned about calling a musician or a singer an artist as is the norm in the music business. But lately the term is beginning to make more sense. A performer is as much an artist as a painter or sculptor is in that sense that it is a form of creative self-expression and requires both skill and heart.

But singers, musicians, dancers, and actors are more than artists, they are also athletes. As athletes, they must train, practice, and rehearse to train their muscles to react instantly without thought. Also like athletes they may face injuries, health, and just plain getting old. But unlike in athletics, the creative side does not diminish with age. As we get older, we may not be able to play as fast, or hit the highest notes, but we can certainly play with more expression and passion as we have the gift of time behind us.

In the past it seemed like musical history was made by young people, but I am not sure that is the case now or will it be in the future. Creativity does not rely solely on flexible fingers and vocal cords. It takes clear thinking, a passion for life, and time and skill to get the art recorded in a form that others can enjoy it.