Why do artists put themselves, their peculiar balances of experience and imagination, before the public, and risk the pain that comes with incomprehension or indifference? The pain is very real; it’s not something one gets used to easily. Indifference, of course, is the rule – there is so much out there for the world to experience, how much attention can a single work hope for – so one does eventually get used to it on some level, or else one couldn’t possibly continue. But the ache never really goes away.
So what is the compensation, the reason for pressing on? I have so many reasons, I hardly know where to start. Some of them are enormous, brimming with far-reaching relevance. But most are minor impeti, scarcely enough to tickle the hairs on my forearm when taken singly.
I’m usually upbeat. My self-confidence spends most of the time spinning around with the ceiling fan. Every once in awhile, though, it goes smush-faced into the floorboards.
Sometimes, when I find myself eyeball-to-wood-grain, a kind word from afar can do wonders to lift my mood. Got one of those this week, when Fanfare magazine went online with its review of my latest album, Appendage and Other Stories. The review begins like this:
I think music should be fun, moving, mysterious, beautiful, funny, and frightening. I don’t expect it to be all of those things on the same CD, however. Nevertheless, this CD is all of those things and more, and even though I had never heard of Lawrence Dillon until this disc came in the mail, I now must number myself among his fans.
Years of navel-gazing vindicated with a couple of sentences.
Here’s the whole review. I don’t know who Raymond Tuttle is, but it certainly lifts the spirits – not to mention the flattened visage — to be heard.