What gives me the right?

Who and What Gives Me The Right?

Many of my compositions explore current issues or events. Often I can be watching the news and something can impact me so much that I wonder how I can tell that story or re-create that emotion in a piece of music. But, do I have the right to tell someone else’s story through one of my compositions if I have no direct connection or if the story is of another culture or ethnicity?

Perusing my composition portfolio recently, I realized that so many of my compositions were conceived and created without even giving a 2nd thought to whether or not I should even be allowed to tell that story. It is only in my compositions of the past couple of years that I’ve begun to question myself. Perhaps it is old age or wisdom that is causing me to think twice about this issue or perhaps it is the changing times. Is this questioning a good thing?

The issue is complex as there never could be one person or group that could give a blanket ‘ok’ for me to write about a topic. Or, do I have a blanket artistic license to say whatever I want to say in any of my compositions? How far can/should ‘artistic license’ allow us to go?

This all scares me. While I feel I should have some artistic license, I also feel some responsibility.

For the record, I have not received any complaints about any of my compositions. Perhaps my audience can sense my honesty of emotion in my work. But none of my works have garnered an immense amount of fame or notoriety. If one such piece did, how would I respond? I guess I won’t know until it happens.

In the end, the creative process takes me in a direction where I try to create the best possible composition that is my own musical voice while telling the truth, from my perspective, both factually and/or emotionally at the same time. After that, I guess it is out of my hands.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply