THE CONDUCTOR AND THE ARTIST
We were listening to the Paducah Symphony Orchestra’s last concert of the season. I have absolutely no knowledge or understanding of music, let alone classical music, which puts me at a disadvantage when it comes to appreciating the scope and the nuances of the music. But I can appreciate the passion it evokes in the listener and even more, the passion so clearly obvious in the musicians and the conductor, especially the conductor.
The musicians were, for the most part, limited to facial expressions imposed upon them by their instruments of varying bulk. But the conductor - his every emotion was betrayed by his body movements, and when visible, his face. First he stood very still, and the orchestra was quiet, then his arms began to move gracefully in purposeful arcs and the music followed. Suddenly the baton, an extension of his right hand began to bounce and gyrate, pulling his body along with it, and the music kept pace with every movement. Here was an artist immersed in his work with such physical and emotional passion. I was envious.
I can be engrossed in my work, sitting or standing and I may walk away momentarily and pace, which I do quite often. But to be able to experience the sound and the physicality of my work like the conductor did, that is something else. The best I can do is to have music blaring from a CD, Johnny Cash, Luciano Pavarotti, or maybe Queen. OK…I have a confession to make. On rare occasions, when I am especially moved, I will actually dance (I insist on calling it dance) around the studio, but not until I have checked to see if Patience, or anyone else could see me.
That is the difference between a symphony conductor and a painter. The conductor can let it all hang out in front of his audience. The painter, at least this one, must be devious and sneaky. That is my opinion and I’m sticking to it.