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Don Burrows part three

In their own words

Recorded 1974

Don Burrows part three
Audio: 2 miutes

I often doubt whether I am doing things from the right direction, the right standpoint in music – writing or playing. I feel that sort of an inferiority complex in a way, because I haven’t a great deal of formal education, whether it’s ordinary school education, which I didn’t even finish, or whether it applies to musical education. Everything I have done has been based on pure drive from inside me. I’ve done and attended things, and attended to things, because something’s taken me there and I’ve been confronted with it and I’ve just done it. I haven’t been shown how.

And yet in these years now, in my mid-40s, I find myself approaching school academics and school flautists as well, and approaching them to take me on as a student. And often they seem to think I’m kidding. I’m not kidding. It’s just that my ear development and experience has far outstripped my more formalised education in music. Now, there’s sort of an imbalance. I have to sometimes equate this to myself and maybe to others, maybe to students, even ones I’m teaching. Because I’ll often mention this to them, that I don’t really have much training in this subject which I’m teaching them. But I think, boiling it all down, it’s more important to be able to do something – to me – by instinct and by ear, than to be able to do it as a result of someone having shown you on a blackboard and out of a book, how’s it done by tradition. I would prefer, if I could only do it one way or the other, I’d prefer to be able to do it by nature.

Acknowledgements

This oral history of Don Burrows is from the De Berg Collection in the National Library of Australia. For more information, or to hear full versions of the recordings, visit the National Library of Australia website.

Audio source

National Library of Australia, Hazel de Berg collection

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Don Burrows

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