Interesting that Cartier-Bresson spent a lot of time drawing and painting, 
especially after he retired from photography, so calling himself not an artist 
is rather peculiar. There are lots of photographers that think photography can 
be an art. I have always thought of it this way. Take this atmospheric 
photograph of the Flatiron Building in New York City made in 1904 by Edward 
Steichen. Just like music, painting, sculpture, photographic images can have 
compositional and tonal integrity.



 Calling Curtis an amateur musician is just like calling yourself a 
non-professional photographer. In photography as well as music there are 
amateurs who are more capable artistically than professionals, but they do not 
make their living that way. A professional has to produce consistent results 
day in and day out, they have to be reliable. Bad musicians sing and often play 
out of tune, so it is less likely they could survive professionally. 
Photography is so common place, and cameras ubiquitous today, that it is 
probably difficult for photographers with the run-of-the-mill stuff that just 
about any idiot can produce photographically today. Most people can tell the 
difference between a good musician and a bad one, but most of them cannot tell 
a good photograph from a bad one, in part because photography is a very 
mechanical profession compared to playing an instrument, which requires some 
considerable skill to be even barely competent.

 I think your criticisms of Curtis's ability is far off the mark. Perhaps you 
are discombobulated by his intellect, which is certainly more powerful than 
yours or mine. This can be very annoying if you have a strong emotional 
attachment to TM.

---In, <curtisdeltablues@...> wrote :

 --In, <> wrote :
You are right, different instruments obviously need different approaches to 
training. My suggestion was a hint only, to sit down and listen to one note at 
the time which should be done regardless of instrument and would benefit any 
amateur who often tries to accomplish too much too soon.

M: This is called every day of my life Nabbie. Check out Well Worn Blues and 
Love in Vain even in preview on CDBABY on my Well Worn Blues CD and you will 
see an example of what you are talking about. The start of Well Worn Blues is 
being played on a single string diddley bow on a board I made to preserve the 
tradition of single string instruments from the history of blues. 

Wont cost you a penny!

♫ Well Worn Blues - Curtis Blues. Listen @cdbaby
 ♫ Well Worn Blues - Curtis Blues. Listen @cdbaby Click to listen at CDBaby

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 Regarding your last question. I'm certainly producing "soulless pictures for 
money". There is no artistic merit in this whatsoever, though I do try to make 
every picture "sing", if not able to do that to some extent I would have no 
 Art in photography ? There are many but I like to mention Cartier-Bresson for 
many reasons, one being that he strongly denied that he was an artist :-)
---In, <anartaxius@...> wrote :

 Okay Nabbie, I listened to the Robert Johnson recording and to some of 
Curtis's recordings on YouTube.

 This is regarding you one note theory of music here. Granted some instruments 
tone productions can be a thing that must be practised, sounding a note on a 
violin is rather complex. But many instruments such as the piano, just about 
anyone can strike a note and it sounds the same. It is the relationships 
between the notes that make music not just one note. Beauty in a single note is 
in the eye of a beholder. Take the saxophone. This was originally intended to 
be a classical instrument, but for the most part it ended up in jazz, brass 
bands, on the popular side of the tracks. Classical saxophone playing is 
generally very smooth and mellow. While jazz players are often rather raspy in 
tone. You have to consider the style of music being played. If you consider 
'beauty of tone' as a criterion, most jazz saxophonists sound like crap next to 
a good classical player. But the classical player probably could never 
replicate the style of the jazz players. 

 YouTube is not the best way to hear music. It is compressed and often recopied 
and recompressed many times. Consumer video recorders have microphones that 
have distorted frequency response, often boosting the highs, and they are 
recorded at the camera location, not with optimum placement. 
 The Robert Johnson recording is a solo, and 1936 recording technology loses 
both deep bass and much of the high frequencies (and an abrasive was added to 
the shellac of 78rpm records to keep the needle from wearing them down too 
quickly). His sound on the reproduction on YouTube is dead because it has been 
processed to remove the noise of that technology.  So when you compare the 
musical sound of different musicians, you have to account for how the recording 
technology, and the recording engineer affect the final sound.

 Studio recordings tend to be different than live recordings. The atmosphere is 
more relaxed in a studio recording, and the need to project to an audience is 
absent so the sound might be more intimate. A completely acoustic performance 
without amplification requires projecting to the audience, and such a 
performance might sound a bit more intense than one in a more intimate setting.

 Comparing solo guitar and voice with what Curtis does with additional 
instruments is not a telling comparison. The ability to play slowly is nice, 
but a pro has to be able to handle rapid passages with ease, and without making 
serious errors. Now I can play slowly, because I am not that skilled, and have 
no other choice, lacking technical fluency. Five-year-old children can play the 
piano far better than I ever will. I am pretty good with single notes too. I 
can play them loud, soft, and in between. 

 There are kinds of music I like, music I like less, and music I do not like, 
but I do not consider those performing music I do not like as crude etc., 
because I have not really investigated their artistry and style; some of these 
musicians seem to be fantastic in their technical ability. I mostly listen to 
Western European music, Bach, Handel, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and so forth, so 
I have a musical bias, I almost never listen to pop, jazz, musicals, rock, or 
blues. Learning something about the style of a particular kind of musics helps 
to appreciate more, even if in the end, you do not like it. For example, I do 
not like rap, but it takes a tremendous amount of rhythmic and verbal and 
literary skill to produce it.

 I read somewhere on FFL you were a photographer. Are you an artist or a hack 
(just taking soulless pictures for money)? I do not believe you have ever given 
us a sample of your work. I am sure there are critics in the audience who would 
be glad to evaluate your artistic ability. What do you consider to be art in 
the field of photography? If we are discussing art versus non art, there must 
be some general criterion or criteria by which to evaluate it.

---In, <> wrote :

 "If Curtis were as bad as you say, what do you think he should do to improve?"

 Good question. First of all I'd recommend practise, practise, practise. He 
could start by hitting one note at a time, just one note and listening to it, 
how it sounds, vibrates and how the sound slowly disappears. Just that, very 
simply and innoscently create one sound, and then listen to it, how pleasing is 
that sound, does it sound better doing it in another way ?  And again, and 
again, and again. By doing this one acquires an understanding of the basics and 
a love for the note itself. Without this basics one is lost and will never 
achieve anything. One should understand that the ability to play fast on any 
instrument is not the same as playing music. To be able to play slowly is the 
hallmark of a professional.
  Many amateurs, like Curtis, make this mistake; they skip the basics and try 
to convey too much.
 I recommend you to listen to the video I posted by Robert Johnson. Where is 
the showmanship in this ? There isn't any because his heart is in it. When you 
listen to this, perhaps you better understand my disgust when fellows like 
Curtis comes along claiming to play the blues.

 Robert Johnson - Kind Hearted Woman Blues (1936)
 Robert Johnson - Kind Hearted Woman Blues (1936) This Song contains the only guitar 
solo Robert Johnson ever recorded. I very good example for his amazing talent. 
He plays rhythm and lead guitar on one inst...

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