Back to those comments of Tom Clough's that resurfaced in the great choyting 

"I could sit hours and hear the worst piper that ever played, if 
there is such a thing as a poor Northumbrian small piper. Imagination 
has always played a big part in my playing and listening, and it's 
wonderful what can be gleaned from any sort of a piper. It's not 
really what he does, but what he tries to do; and that little bit of 
something adds further to your stock of knowledge if you can manage 
what he tried to do. That proves to me that there's not a piping 
failure, when the piper is doing his best, as the listener may be 
quick to pick up what the piper just misses. That´s been a life long 
practice, and I've learned clever things that way from what a lot 
have termed mediocrity, but not when it is polished up and finished 


"the true art of piping is to create music......It stands to reason 
that if two performers of equal ability play, but one instrument is 
much more musical than the other, then there is only one just cause, 
as it is musical effect that will always determine".

Musical feeling is as important as technique. 


-----Original Message-----
Sent: 30 September 2008 17:11
Subject: [NSP] Mistakes in public perfomance

   All music, because it is art, is a gift.  The generosity with which the
   gift is given and received is often more important than the technical
   skill through which it is given.  Some of the most moving performances
   I've had the pleasure of experiencing have been from artists who will
   never adorn their living rooms with trophies or be acknowledged in the
   pages of society journals.  Likewise, a technically perfect performance
   can occaissionally feel selfish and shallow.  These comments are
   general and apply to music in general.  Music lives in the moment, and
   to languish over a poor performance, my own or anyone else's, or
   otherwise to puff up over a successful outing, these reactions both
   miss the point.  Just about any performance, private or public, can be
   turned into torture by negativity.  A positive attitude will make any
   opportunity to play or listen a much more enjoyable and rewarding
   experience for everyone.
   To paraphrase Miles Davis (I think): don't worry about mistakes...there
   are none.

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