“Habit may depreciate the most brilliant talents,” he said in 1812 to his pupil, Archduke Rudolph, who he warns against too zealous a devotion to music. I’m quoting from an Internet source on Beethoven on that, but I had written the same quote in one of my “Nothing Book” diaries when I was 17 or 18, and I recall my translation as having been: “Habit may depreciate even the finest of talents.”
In any case, I do not consider myself either one of the finest or most brilliant talents musically, but I have always remembered that quote since I thought it could apply to any form of artistic endeavour, or even any profession or job anyone does. And today, after travelling to Budapest and doing my day job and finally finishing everything that needed doing, I finally picked up my guitar in my hotel room and I played for half an hour. And I felt so refreshed, so happy, so powerful playing my songs and cover songs, and strumming the guitar and being liberated once again in a hotel room at the beginning of another of my open mic adventure’s faraway locations, at the beginning of a weekend of musical and other fun.
And I thought, there’s no panic on the blog, no panic in the music, shake it up. Shake it all up. Do what you love doing, and make it fresh and fun. Don’t fall into habit for habit’s sake.
Many regular readers of this blog may also have noticed that in recent weeks I have been filling out other parts of the blog, while not doing as many open mics as usual. That’s part of the same effort to break the habit…at least momentarily. There are plenty of open mics and gigs and musical adventures to come – starting, I hope, with the coming days in this beautiful city….