A few months back, early in the trial pro music phase, I expressed initial interest in a job playing violin for the army (yes, really. I was as surprised as you). I then discovered you had to apply for the army in general first then get yourself put on the musician track (which I’m sure is just admin but still seems scary – what if they redraft me to RPG fodder because of a(nother) security crisis?), and go through basic military training, and generally got cold feet and didn’t proceed.
Since then I’ve had a chaser email to say I haven’t applied to join the army, been invited to an open day at (one of) the relevant orchestra(s) (not sure if there’s more than one to be honest) and most recently been contacted personally by the principal 2nd violin to ask if I would like to visit, meet them, see what they do in practice. It all feels a bit like I’m being headhunted by the armed forces, which if you ask me is a rather disturbing image.
It comes down a lot to the eventual theme of my previous post: doing music per se or wanting to be happy doing music? This option is possibly within my musical grasp (certainly more so than a full-time job with a London/BBC professional orchestra) but, unlike pretty much anything else in that category, would offer dependable pay, no need to hunt out freelance jobs case-by-case, freedom from insecurity, stress and tax returns. But, it involves being technically a soldier and very much living or at least working full-time in a military environment. Which, as a default pacifist (ie, violence always worse than no violence, but there are situations where armed intervention can be expected to reduce the total sum of violence and suffering, and there is a moral case for taking those opportunities) and an almost anti-nationalist – certainly more of a globalist than a patriot – seems a problem rather than a goal.
I had made up my mind to let the possibility drop completely. I’m thinking again because my desk job seems particularly a pain in the backside lately, and I’m looking at usual pay rates and wondering if it’s plausible for me to expect to get a properly paid gig every week – which is pretty much what I’d need to make the current arrangement sustainable. But it’s not that I’ve changed my mind; I’ve just unmade it down.