Fun, skill and knowledge in the creative endeavour

Well, I have now played 1556 shows in Second Life since 3rd January, 2008. Today I played (as my avatar, Fyrm Fouroux) at my little virtual venue, Terra Fyrmusica.

A friend of mine in MeatSpace said that one of his mates who played in an amateur rock band was used to having small audiences for pub gigs. He used the term ‘audient’ for the situation where you play to just one solitary person. Today, I played to an audient at my gig (my good SL friend, Ferdy). Actually, between songs we chatted about the concept of fun and explored its relation to knowledge and skill. Some people have expressed the view to me that I should only do my music if I am enjoying it or having fun. I think it is much more complicated than that, when it comes to the creative endeavours relating to playing an instrument or, in art, sketching and painting.

Of course, it is possible to have fun with minimal skills and knowledge. In terms of song-writing with a guitar, that kind of fun is summed up in the somewhat dismissive analysis of a song as being little more than a three-chord trick.

With music, the fun of playing the instrument might be experienced at different levels, depending on one’s skill and knowledge of the musical genre. My point is that to get from one level to a higher plane, sometimes takes a lot of concentration, hard work and loads of practice; this is not always fun and it often requires discipline and strength of mind.

Anyway, let’s get back to fun. It might be possible to experience fun at all levels, but the nature of the fun could become more sophisticated as one moves up the levels of skill (with musical instruments, this would be rather like the English grade system which goes from 1 to 8). If one remains at a low level of skill for too long one might simply become bored, and boredom devours fun with a voracious appetite.

I enjoyed talking about this with Ferdy. I doubt very much whether I could have had that kind of conversation were the gig to have had a larger audience. I learned something today: playing to a single ‘audient’ can be as enjoyable as playing to a small crowd (I never play to large crowds, they just don’t like me).
Speak to you later, my dear blogophiles.

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