Re: conventions

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. :))

Douglas Tate
President ... SPAH

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