I am a professional graphic artist as well as a passionate amateur singer with a very musical family, which means I have been able to experience or witness all sorts of situations first-hand, from practice and rehearsals to performances.
A few years ago, I realised that what we call “classical” music and singing were heading for rough waters, with funds being reduced everywhere and most of the youth feeling less and less attracted to (and becoming more and more ignorant about) these wonderful art forms. I felt compelled to do something about the situation and decided to try and illustrate the insider point of view of singers and instrumentalists, in order to break that ever increasing distance between the audience and the classical musicians.
I see a lot of funny but often cliché caricatures and feel there is something missing in the way these great artists are depicted. Humour is very important to me. However I prefer using it it combined with a feeling of empathy for the person, rather than at the expense of…
One down side of our fantastic modern technology, which allows us to listen to music in the comfort of our homes but also practically everywhere and all the time, is that less people feel the urge to make music themselves. Especially the kind of music demanding some dedication and regular instrumental or vocal practice.
As a result, the classical musicians and singers have become these apparently distant and mysterious creatures, usually dressed-up in old fashioned tuxedos and gowns, able to produce incredible non-electronically amplified sounds, as if by magic. Classical concert-goers are ever more petrified in dignified silence, unlike in jazz or pop culture, expecting consistent CD-like perfection from these live performers.
I think it is time somebody visually depicts their human everyday struggles as well as their laboriously acquired expertise in a fun but accurate way. It would also be nice to depolarise the two amateur-versus-professional worlds and show the entire spectrum of musical practice without erecting impermeable barriers.