I have known the emotion of the interpreter at one time or another. That extreme feeling of being on the verge of admitting or not admitting that all of life will be a failure because the ideal will simply never be achieved. Of course, there is the comfort some teachers use: «practice so that you can’t play badly”. But, not being able to play badly has nothing to do with getting to play perfect. Playing without mistakes only guarantees you the applause, the emotion of others, even the admiration and respect that the combination of talent and discipline inspires. But that’s all there is to it.
On the other side, and no less extreme, but a thousand times more unfair, I was on the arranger’s side at one time or another. Two unexpected box blows and the beat of the rhythm changes you so much that it becomes a vice. The same melodic sequence of five or seven notes in which, by repeating the same sequence, you change the A for the G and the song changes dramatically. Not to mention invasive arrangements, those that fill it with brass where there were no winds, and where there were only guitars they make cellos and double basses appear. And, also, the legs, the women.
As you can see, interpreting someone else’s work is doomed to failure – don’t fuck with me – trying an arrangement can have a fantastic result as well as a disastrous one, and better/worse still, the audience may like the arrangement, the author may not, and vice versa. The truth is that it is very difficult to find cases in which author, performer and arranger converge in a happy trinity, unless, of course, this trinity is composed of a single person as the deity of Christians – which only Christians understand, without offending, believe me. But anything’s possible, I know it’s possible.
For my part, I have decided to limit my interpretations and arrangements to the usual octahedrons, which were never considered in what they call, precisely, circles. It will be understood that the least fanatical, or just the most fanatical, will understand that it is natural for every interpreter to interpret it and that in doing so, everyone who listens to it, intimately, will generate possible arrangements regarding that which is then manifested to them. Because, finally and from the beginning, we are all performers and we are all arrangers, only some of us are more boisterous than others. But we are all interpreters, and we all have arrangements to offer.
Now, what if I’m tired of playing and arranging and I decide to compose? That day when I composed a journey out of the sounds and a long story about grandmothers that I didn’t have. The three-fold year in which I painted in oil why smoking was good if my girlfriend’s name was Mildred, or the sonata «The first time I avoided a tear». I really don’t know what it would be like to take my eyes off the prison, which is any other person’s score, and start with the freedom of a blank staff. I guess you have to be honest.