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Sex , Drugs , And - Classical Music ?

   The title is correct .  There's a new video drama series  about the difficult lives of struggling  freelance  classical musicians in New York City  available from Amazon Studios called "Mozart in the Jungle "  , based   on the book of the same name by  former New York freelance  oboist Blair Tindall , who abandoned the life of a musician for journalism several years ago .  The book came out about a decade ago , and  was recently  adapted into a  video  featuring  among others , such well known actors as Malcolm McDowell, Bernadette Peters and  even an appearance by the renowned violinist Joshua Bell .  I haven't seen the video series yet , but have read the book .

   Ms. Tindall  wrote a candid and even sordid  description of her days as a freelance musician in New York after having graduated from  music school  .  It's an  uncertain and  unpredictable way to earn a living , and while potentially  rewarding  artistically , a life which is often filled with   boredom  and frustration .  A gig playing in the pit band of a Broadway musical pays well , but  the constant repetition of the same show  week after week can be  deadly dull , and musicians often read books while not playing !   

    Ms. Tindall was able to  get work as a substitute oboist with the New York Philharmonic , but when   she auditioned for a permanent position there  , nerves caused her to lay well below her best and she did not get the job , a coommon occurrance .  She played with a wide variety of other groups in New York , but eventually , she she grew so frustrated and  tired   of performing   she switched  to journalism , and  "Mozart in the Jungle" sold unusually well for a book on classical music .  

   It was not uncommon for  freelance musicians to get gigs  for sexual favors , sometimes with conductors , who often lorded it over the musicians in rehearsals .  Drug use was rife among the freelance classical musicians , as well as promiscuous sex and even orgies !   In addition , legal drugs were often needed for the physical pains  and injuries which are  endemic  to the field of  classical musicians , rather li professional athletes ,   

   When people attend  concerts by these musicians , they generally have no idea  what a  difficult and sordid life the musicians  have .  You may enjoy sausages ,  but you don't want to see how they are made, as the saying goes !   

Posted: Jan 21 2015, 09:29 PM by the horn | with no comments
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