first let me tell you why i don’t really support live music in johannesburg, and probably why my “musical career” has been so fucking slow to take off – the major obstacle i have to overcome is that i have two underage (very underage) kids, so if i want to go out for a night it requires outside assistance…Meaning…the reason for going out has to be very strong. Nothing that i have seen or done has been that strong, exciting, uplifting or even entertaining – mostly people are hanging out to be seen on the scene with the perpetutraitors of (as Michael so elegantly put it) “the Emperor’s new music”. Otherwise the poor muso is playing to a room on a serious mission to get pissed, and you’re just singing your little heart out to a bunch of sales reps who are going to prove to you that they can be louder than a girl with a mic. Then there are the obligatory BIG screen TVs in EVERY SINGLE FUCKING VENUE – even the so called music venues? how do you get heard? most local bands/performers solve the disinterest by turning the volume all the way up (ear bleeding loud) a major turn off, particularly when the venue is small and not designed to deal with the sound waves crashing off of every surface making a muddle of noise somewhere just above your head. Then there is the problem of not actually liking what anyone is doing because it feels so fabricated, so synthetic, faked. if they can actually play they mess it up by trying so hard to be cool that they succeed only in becoming aloof, and if they can’t? well they just unashamedly sound exactly like someone else. Perhaps other people don’t mind, but when your references become your style you’re not much more than a photocopy, perhaps even a photocopy of a photocopy. But if you can play and you won’t do it with your heart all the way open, you’re even worse, you’re a waste of talent. pretty much everything i’ve ever seen is somewhere between those two extremes.
Now let me get to the part about what i would actually like to see, what would i want to be in front of, and therefore what can i get behind? I would like a reason to glam up (and not for a fucking casino!) for a beautiful space with a real piano, to play for a qualified audience who might appreciate it, even if that means i’m playing to four people in a house with zero amplification, like the days before radio, before the record player, when the way to hear music was to make it or to be witness to someone else who was. it is so personal, so right to be back at the start where you make real contact with the people you play for, you find a way into their vibratory space, and let that inform your attack and the content of your set, you just do it in the moment. but in order to be this good, this sharp and ready requires a daily practice, a living relationship with your instruments and real context on the songs you are interacting with – this is the kind of thing i would go out to be a part of – a sacred intimate thing that builds bridges of imagination and love from each heart in the room out into the world, in which case four really open loving hearts is a lot… this is my plan: i offer this experience to those who will accept the invitation, we together will document the journey, and share that with those who were unable to be physically there.
If this excites you, and you want to share in such an experience let me know that you accept my invitation.