Somewhere inside of everyone is a path, a road, with stop lights and lines on the road that need to be kept to in order to avoid catastrophe, of the personal kind. Even if we know that we have to stay in between the lines and stop at the lights, we imagine a road that is no longer paved and one that has no stop lights. It’s bumpy and sometimes treacherous, but on that road we are free. Free to imagine we are somewhere else, another place where perception, projection, and conception become visible—these are from the palette of an artist.
In classical music it is nearly impossible to shed our preconceived notions of what to expect from a particular type of musician—especially when there are hundreds of competitions that take place continuously all over the world, and for which any musician who wants to be recognized has to fit into a particular mold. This is the reality we have bought into. Is it really tradition that we are saving? And what are we getting for that? Fewer and fewer outliers. It’s hard enough to make a career, but dare to be different…
So when you are going down that metaphorical road, and suddenly find yourself veering off, taking a right turn where there is no actual route, looking for something that maybe never existed before, something original to you, your own voice, then maybe, just maybe it is time to follow your instincts.
This heralds for us an opportunity to let go courtesy of Yana Reznik. Yana is someone who dreams outside the lines and listens with the five senses plus many others that cannot be named. If we give ourselves a running start, we might be able to catch that train she is on…
Kathy Geisler: What is your current job in the field of classical music? What are you currently working on?
Yana Reznik: I’m a person of varied dreams and passions and therefore always working on multiple projects at the same time. Last year, during Covid, I found I had a lot of time to explore new avenues of creativity, since all performance opportunities had disintegrated.
What I realized during our ‘time out’ is that musicians are the healers of the soul.
When the world was faced with fear of death beginning with the first months of the pandemic, many of us began to think of what really matters in life. My immediate instinct was to use my skills to provide a service that was much needed. I organized a ‘PPE and Mask Hunt for Chicago.’ Along with 150 volunteers and a dedicated team, we were able to fundraise and search for the needed materials all over the world. People responded by sending us PPE to be given to hospitals. There were suddenly hundreds of people who learned how to sew masks while we frantically bought all the fabrics available before everything was sold out and before all the stores were closed.
Once we filled the hospitals’ requests, we moved onto other essential organizations, then to the neighbors. I realized that an incredible unity is achievable when everyone believes in the cause. However, for the first time in my career, I wasn’t trying to ‘sell myself’ as I often feel in music, but instead I was engaged in service. It forced me to question why music isn’t really treated as a necessity in our society? Why do musicians often burn out from their careers while they feel like salespeople of an unwanted product instead of artists? After the ‘fear of death’ months had passed, I saw a big shift. People seemed to start witnessing a void in their soul-healing: they turned to art, books, inspiring movies, and a lot of music online.
The feeling of being emotionally dead, to me, is more frightening than being physically dead. This great shift in the realization of the importance behind our lives, really altered my approach towards my career and my future projects. I’m currently building my spiritual / consulting business to inspire people to live creatively in every aspect of their lives. I am writing blogs about my past experiences and sharing the truths behind music business careers to hopefully inspire others to have hope in the future of art.
Click on the Website link and read the entire interview on medium.com in Humans of Classical Music.