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July 2015

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On art, fun, and pretensions

Steve Brezenoff is my latest source of blog inspiration, with this post that is, on the surface, about Dizzy Gillespie, but covers rather more territory than that. Brezenoff talks about the difference between the art we actually like and the art we say we like (which may be the art we think we should like, the art we wish we liked, the art we want others to think of us as liking ...). I think it's good to push ourselves out of our comfort zones and search for the quality in what other people admire. But I also agree that we can't force enthusiasm for what just doesn't light us up. And eventually we stop pretending to like what we "should" and admit where our true affinities lie. Eventually we realize that we're not impressing anyone, and we don't care anymore whether we are or not. Life's too short to waste on pretensions.

Of Gillespie, Brezenoff writes, "Dizzy's compositions are inherently good natured and fun. Dizzy also played in the highest register of the instrument to a point that often seems a little absurd, setting off tiny musical fireworks. I love that."

Reminding me that it's good to ask myself not only, "Is this art?" but also, "Am I having any fun?"

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