Where do we draw the line?

violinHow far should we go to stand our ground when it comes to out art? I have been stubborn in the past, to the detriment of me not being as financially successful as I could have been. But this was important for me. I did not pursue a dream to compromise all along the way. But like with everything, there has to be a middle ground. I mean, artist does need to eat and pay the rent. So where do we draw the line?

Well obviously this should come down to every individual. With out a fraction of doubt, if you build your career on pleasing the masses, playing what you assume every one wants to hear, there will not be much room for artistic expression. You see having artistic value and entertaining the crowds are two different things. Of course a great artist can deliver on both fronts.

I am in the west of Ireland at the moment and last night we were listening to some traditional Irish music in the local bar. Many of you know I have played Irish traditional music for years. There are regional styles all around the country. In Dublin the musicians tend to play faster, where as in Co Clare the fiddle style is much more fluid, or even poetic. The company I was in consisted of some people who were familiar with Irish traditional music and some people who had very little experience of it. Listening to their comments, it was funny to see how their perception was very different. The general view was that the music was good, but maybe bit boring, as it was much slower than what they had heard few days before in Dublin.

I knew the music was of very high standard, I enjoyed it a lot. But I can see where my traveling companions where coming from as well. And I bet somewhere along the way the local musicians have been asked to “liven it up a bit”. But if they would have followed this advice, they would have gone against what they fell is right in their hearts.

So I ask again, where do we draw the line? Well in my experience, if you stick to your guns, be true to your self, it will lead much more sustained career, where as if you take the road of “playing the hits” or “speeding up” you gain instant reward, but that is all it is.


The author J.P. Kallio is a singer songwriter
To get EIGHT of his songs for free go HERE