A short story about how the Arpeggione Today project won its 1st grant from the state. It’s a great day.
As an introduction.
It’s always difficult for a creative person. Whether it’s an artist, a musician, a poet. All of these people create a product that is often difficult to monetize. Fancy word but what to do. And any creative person is always in a choice between conjuncture and pure art.
We live in a world of commodity-money relations. And we all know very well Maslow’s pyramid in which creativity is always on a higher step after the closure of basic human needs. So how does a creative person live? To create frankly for the needs of the day? Or to be that starving artist who died in poverty and 200 years later his works became masterpieces. Most often it is this scenario.
Although occasionally there is a third case. When patrons, sponsors, and patrons come to help.
What have I been doing for several years now?
I am reviving life like the Phoenix bird of a beautiful 19th century instrument – the arpeggione, the cello guitar, the bowed guitar.
Thanks to Franz Schubert there is a classical work for this musical instrument. One of the masterpieces of classical music is the “sonata for arpeggione and piano.” I’ve already told you a lot about this instrument and the very interesting history of its origin. You can read it on my website or watch it on my channel.
Now I want to tell you how the project received the highest praise and a development grant from the government of the State of Israel. I could not apply as a master builder of musical instruments. Only as a performer.
This is an injustice, but more about that another time.
The hardest part was to get rid of my inner complexes and my Soviet upbringing about how asking for money is not humble. You should not be proud and beggarly. So, I want to point out to all creative people that this is fundamentally the wrong position. Any creator deserves a quality life. I assure you there are resources in the world for that to be the case.
I found out about the opportunity to apply for a grant as a creative person and as a new citizen of the State of Israel. After that I had to write a resume and prepare a portfolio.
A week after I sent the application I got a call and an appointment for an audition.
The grant committee was in Jerusalem. I decided that I had to demonstrate an excerpt of Schubert’s “Arpeggione” sonata played on the arpeggione.
You could say that this was the first concert in my life in which I played the classics. At least something that wasn’t of my own composition. And on an instrument that I’ve only been mastering for two years. And with a bow. Yes, in front of strict jury of famous musicians and composers. And I have to tell about myself and my instrument in a different language. And at 10 in the morning. And taking into account the road I had to get up at 4 in the morning.
I had been preparing for the contest for 2 weeks, putting aside everything that could somehow distract me.
So the day “X” came.
So that I wouldn’t worry so much, I told myself that it was just an adventure. This is my new experience. I am not going for an exam, but to show people an instrument they have probably never seen. On a charitable mission. Fortunately it went better than I expected. There were a few musicians on the committee who were originally from the Soviet Union. I told them about my project and the instrument in Russian. Everyone was very surprised and interested. And even though I didn’t play perfectly, they gave me the highest score.
And with this award came a financial reward for the purchase of the necessary musical equipment.
This is a great day for me and my project. It was today that I realized that I was doing the right thing and the right thing. And I will find people to work with me. And I will work on getting new sponsors and grants.
Next year is an anniversary year – 225 years since the birth of the great composer Franz Schubert. I want to play his great sonata in that honor.
And also in honor of the master who created the arpeggione, Johann Stauffer.
Yes, in honor of all the masters who make musical instruments. After all, they are always in the shadow of the performers.