The Price of Words

July 28, 2020 (transferred from WordPress)


Forgive me for my long silence.

Lately I’ve been drowning in thoughts and have been at a loss for words. I am heartbroken for this county and it has been incredibly painful and infuriating to watch leaders throw around thoughtless words without a care of their catastrophic impact. Their words have cost lives, stirred up violence and created inhumane callousness.

Words come at a price, they always do.

Perhaps seeing this negative impact of words has made me shrink away from using such powerful tools.

I’ve felt the power of words ever since I was young- I would watch someone yell in anger while unconsciously stealing the emotional security of the recipient. Or I’d see an exchange of hateful remarks that chip away at one’s dignity and self-worth.

And I felt the gravity of words. So much so, that I could not readily share my own. If someone asked me a question, it was no problem to reply. But if not? To give my words, my thoughts, my inner life away without solicitation? I couldn’t. I treasured my thoughts too much.  As was my inescapable pattern, the more that I cared the more challenging it was for me to share.

This of course translated into my music. While studying in conservatory, I used to get quite envious of peers who had an objective attitude towards their music and could toss off their notes so freely, without care of their effect. I attempted to mirror this attitude and was determined to become a great instrumentalist full of panache..but the result was unsatisfying on all accounts! I had lost my voice in my music, and in turn lost purpose and subsequently my motivation.

After that grand experiment I was forced to come to terms with my own unique perspective and approach to music making. Slowly, I found my voice again and began to enjoy the effort and struggle that comes with my music making while pushing myself to share more generously. I am certainly a work-in-progress though…and as I strive for greater honesty and openness in my music, I’ve found a peace in affirming that I want my music to take effort, time and vulnerability in order to serve as my voice. I want it to cost me.

And so, in a moment where we are over-saturated with content, it’s easy to feel discouraged about creating art…but I want to encourage you to share your truth in a way that is satisfying for you…our society needs you to speak your truth, give generously and create trust. Your art is necessary, now more than ever.

19 views

Recent Posts

See All

Performance Anxiety Anyone??

While most musicians are in a COVID-induced performance dry-spell, being an Artist in Residence for the Collington Community has been cause for one of the busiest performance seasons of my career. And

Zoombie

  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Instagram

© 2020 Tonya Burton