Hillside Club Graphic
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Edition of 1686 of which 125 copies are signed 1-125, 26 copies are signed A-Z as artist's proofs; 15 are signed as dedication copies.Three sets of progressives are signed.

May 19, 2008
17-5/8" x 24"
10 colors
Paper: Mohawk Superfine 100# Cover

Model: Musician and Composer, Colm O'Riain

Client: Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse

1-125: Saint Hieronymus Press
A-Z: Artist's own use
Progressives: 1 set to Colm O'Riain; 1 set to Freight and Salvage, 1 set to Saint Hieronymus Press.

A music-loving tourist, lost in the Lower East Side, asks an elderly man, "How do I get to Carnegie Hall?"

The old fellow gazes at him for a long moment and replies, "Practice! Practice!"

There are a lot of people with talent, who for want of ambition and stick-to-it-iveness never amount to a hill of beans. Talent is necessary, but not sufficient. What you need is good teachers, a desire to succeed and lots and lots of practice. Unsupported, undeveloped talent won't get you far. Remember the fable of the race between the tortoise and the hare: a mediocre slogger will get farther than a lazy genius.

When the great king, Ptolomy I, remarked to Euclid that he had a spare afternoon and wished to learn the art of geometry, Euclid replied, "Sire, there is no royal road to geometry." (Proclus, Commentary on Euclid, Prologue) The one thing we all have is a finite, equal amount of time. And practice takes the same amount of time for a king as for a peasant, and each gets the exact same thing out of it: he gets better at what he has been practicing. And only you can do it, and no one else can do it for you, and you get out exactly what you put in. Some spend hour after hour in a pool hall, and in consequence get really good at pool. The same time spent practicing on a skateboard will get you a number of fractures, assorted abrasions and a great deal of skill on a skateboard. The same devoted hours put into practicing the piano will get you quite good at the piano. The thing about practice is that it takes time, lots of time. Time you could spend on something else. Time that once flown will never return to you. Time that you could spend, like Miniver Cheevy, wishing instead of acting.*

The Muse calls many, and chooses a few. The Muse wants it all, though. You don't pick her, she picks you, and if she picks you and you don't come running with everything you can offer, for the rest of your life you'll wonder what you might have become.

The life of a musician is marked with perils and disasters in plenty, and for all the hard work not all that much dough, not much security, weeks away from home, long late hours and plentiful opportunities for self destruction. But you do get to make music for a living.

But whether you become a full-time musician or one of those folks that sports the cheerily rueful bumper sticker, "Real musicians have day jobs," and whether you aspire to Carnegie Hall or the church choir, you still have to "Practice! Practice!"

* Edward Arlington Robinson (1869-1935), Miniver Cheevy, 1910.