1/28/13: From Mistakes they Earn

Somebody (actually a playwright/director/actor, oh hell, his name is Paul Amandes, and he’s a smart guy) recently wrote the following to me, regarding a reading of a one man show I’m working on,  which he attended:

If a picture says a thousand words, a musical composition says a million! Adding even well-structured verbiage to explain a song serves only to gild the lily.

I understand his point, but I also think he is missing the point. When a musician tells a story prior to performing a song (or in this case tells a story after performing an improvisation) he is not so much trying to explain the song/improvisation as he is creating a context for it. Furthermore,  the words have their own life, connected to, but not necessarily dependent on the song/improvisation. The words, in both this case and in the case of my one man show, are not there to explain the music, they are there to add another layer of meaning to the story.

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