When old friends and associates get together after spending time apart from each other in different countries, it is interesting to reflect on how much they have moved on in their personal journeys and also to learn about the lasting impressions they have made on those they were previously close to.
I have seen manifestations of this conundrum in various settings, even including dealing with associates who have remained in the same city as me, who still see me in the space I occupied as a young musician, starting out in the business. I’m not sure whether I do the same thing myself or not, but I know that I’m usually not surprised to learn that people have grown, developed or moved on from where they were in the past.
Does this issue have something to do with the nature of being an artist? Those of us who have chosen this path tend not to want to stand still. There is so much to discover in life that can used as inspiration for creating new work. Why would one wish to remain stagnant?
Entertainers who hit the jackpot with mass audiences tend to have problems with matters of this sort. If they change tactics or try new things, who is to say they will keep the interest of those audiences? Perhaps this is one of the reasons that a rock musician such as Bob Dylan is so highly revered. This is a guy who took chances and sometimes alienated his listeners. From what I know of him, a key moment was the time when he started performing with an electric band, after achieving notoriety as a folk singer.
I sent lots of emails with information about the creative work I aimed to explore in Zanzibar, but nothing seemed to prepare my long standing friends who live there for the performance they witnessed at the Dhow Countries Music Academy on the first of September, this year. When they see me next, it is likely that I’ll be in yet another creative space. Such is the artist’s journey.