Back in the day, there was a group of fellow musicians I knew who took pride in the single mindedness of their approach to making sounds. They played well together and managed to gain access to several high profile stages, even if they were in the lower echelons of billings in those large events. The group even had a name that projected the idea that its members were committed to their chosen mode of expression.
Anyone who is in the performing arts business for the long haul will eventually learn that young and fresh faced artists tend to get more opportunities than the leathery hounds and cougars of a certain age. With the passing of time, many travellers get distracted on to other paths or they fall by the wayside.
Reflecting about the zealous commitment of the band I have in mind, perhaps they might not have reached the pinnacle of public appreciation as a unit, but individual members were certainly talented enough to maintain lifelong careers as musicians. For better or worse, this does not seem to have happened. Could they have made different choices as young artists?
Curiosity about communicating with symbols, in the most generalised sense of what that could mean, is part of the energy that propels most artists forward. My thoughts may have started with musicians playing in a pop band, but I am also aware of many conservatoire trained musicians who left their musical careers to become bankers, barristers or teachers.
Being open to new experiences and finding ways to absorb them into one’s personal vocabulary can keep an artist constantly engaged with his or her craft and can make all the difference.