At 09:31 01/12/2003 -0500, Iceman wrote:
My observation is that the split between the chromatic/diatonic community
has grown wider in the last 3 years. This is based not only on what I saw
and felt during the evening concerts, daily open mic stages and seminars,
but also on comments made to me by attendees and those that have chosen not
to attend SPAH (some of these being world class performers).
This is a very real concern and may just be more important than what talent
to book for the conventions.
Now, I fully expect long postings in defense of how wonderful everything
was and all the usual rally around the positives, but this is an important
issue that needs to be addressed. Since Jack, Douglas and their friend John
Hall have stated that this community should have a voice in shaping these
events, perhaps we can make suggestions on how best to close this gap
within the conventions.
I believe that Larry has only been to this year's SPAH for the last three
years. He effectively says that anything said which is positive in respect
to the relationships between (call it) Diatonic /Chromatic can be
discounted and only a negative approach needs be discussed.
So, let's start with what IS wrong.
Well... it's people! Get any gathering of diverse personalities and ideas
and there will be a split. It happens.
The neat trick is looking at what the split is about, seeing if it is
important, realising that the majority of people on both sides are middle
of the roaders and that the empty vessels make the most noise.
Festivals like SPAH and Buckeye (as they are in this particular limelight
at the moment) seek to present a wide and varied menu of entertainment and
involvement. Recently there has been a great and positive move towards
education in the conventions too. When you have a wide range there will
be people who don't like some portions of it ( I would think most people
actually come into that category)... There will be some who have been
coming year after year who are finding that there is little new stuff for
them. True... after a few years you will have seen most of the stuff of
seminars etc in one form or another but there is always something new...
just less of it... for you!
This year I feel there was too much emphasis in one direction and not
enough diversity ... but it would be difficult to argue against the quality
of what WAS on show. However... this caused complaints from a small number
who were there and some who stayed away because of it. Yet numbers were
made up by those who DID like the mix.
So where does this leave us with what has suddenly got capitalised into the
There is one, there always has been, I don't doubt there always will be, it
is human nature.
Now let's look behind the scenes at what we have seen over the last 8 years
that I have been attending both SPAH and Buckeye.
I've seen Blues guys walking out of chromatic concerts and vice versa..
BUT... at the same time I have seen a coming together and greater
appreciation of the 'other' view amongst quite a large portion of the
community than in earlier years. It is interesting to note the number of
people who play both chromatic and diatonic nowadays. I repeat... There is
a far greater respect for the 'other' point of view now than there has been
Quite frankly, if this had not been so, and if it hadn't been possible to
see more and more people interested in the music rather than what piece of
brass and bits of wood it was played on I wouldn't have been interested in
staying on inn the management of SPAH.
Music is what counts.
I suggest that we stop talking about negatives and Rifts and Splits and
look at the positives. Progress is slow and we all look for ways to
improve the situation...
I cannot speak for Buckeye although I believe there is broad agreement, but...
SPAH's look forward will always be to try and present the best of a wide
front of music in as many genres as possible... To provide the means for
people to mix, play and discuss... to hear and be heard by people of all
levels... to have available wide ranging tuition and advice by top notch
players and teachers... to find new ways of presentation which will enhance
each of these aspects.
The reason this subject came up on list was because one of the people we
had asked for expert ideas passed the question on to Harp-l. :))
President ... SPAH
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