I suppose the point to this post is that I was reminded today that to be an audience member is to know that it is better to do more cheering than jeering and that those exclamations are also the notes that our audience members are hearing and will continue to hear long after we put down our own instruments. May the echoes of our songs be something that will help others be in peace when it is our day to rest.
The world seems to be waiting, with drumming fingers, for those moments when the predictable algorithm of our programming is interrupted by mystically motivated moves of compassion. We cannot stop listening when that familiar dissonance is broken by love that lacks logic.
Last night I had the distinct pleasure of opening up for Ricardo Sanchez. Alissa had to get River home so she left with the camera before I had the photo op with him OR my band so that was a bummer so I’ll just use the poster that circulated a few venues. My “boy” Shon Bradford set this whole concert up so I just want to give him much love on here right now!
I had David McVicker on Sax, Elliot Diggs on bass and O’Shea on drums. We had a great time doing what we do. I did about 6 songs all of which were originals with the exception of a Fred Hammond tune Glory to Glory to Glory.
There were a little over a hundred folks there. Not bad for such a small venue, but it was intimate and cool that way.
Ricardo’s band was simply amazing and it was awesome to see what he’s been doing since he lived here in AZ. He’s in Atlanta now signed with a major label and just makin’ it happen. It was great to sit across the table from, have some good food and just talk a bit with a guy that gives all the credit to God for all his success. He’s inspiring that way and it comes out in his stage presence because he shares his heart and no just his musical ability. He’s a worship leader through and through and that is way more fun to be a part of than just some one up there just trying to be awesome.
It was a good night and I’ll carry the events and conversations from it for good long while.
There are many days when, as a musician, I don’t act like it. I listen to sports talk radio, or political commentary. The music on the radio is more for nostalgia than anything else. I’m 32, I’m not listening to the “new stuff” anymore. Some might say, “Well as someone who writes music, don’t you want to know what’s going on out there?” First of all, if it’s popular AND true quality, it’ll most likely make it to my ears somehow, and second, most of the great stuff is NOT played on the radio so I’m not missing anything.
So that brings me to a place where as a guy without a whole lot of time to go searching for new and amazing music, I sometimes wonder if I’m just one foot in the door as a musician, THEN I’ll stumble upon some stuff on my iPod that I haven’t listened to in months.
It’s that album where every note on nearly every song moves you. Suddenly you’re soaked in the moment of the music. It’s not about a memory that it sparks, but it’s about the masterful ebb and flow of the music itself. It’s the organic nature of the bass line as it sweeps through, gently bending and twisting to bring each note out into it’s own individual color, while at the same time unifying the instruments…it’s like a breeze on a field of flowers, each petal is touched but as you look at it, it’s all so connected, you can’t decide which part to run through first.
Then there’s the strings as they powerfully swirl and soar. Always dipping, reaching, switching between the rhythmic pant of a sprinting horse, to the delicate, careless, descent of a discarded feather.
Of course, there’s the piano line. An expert ear hears the exact execution in the line, but the soul of the listening participant is seduced into the hauntingly simplistic rhythm just before being whisked away into a dimension that precariously exists between written genius and improvisational magic.
These moments remind me that I don’t have just one foot in the door of being a musician. Music is the root of how I have perceived everything I’ve ever experienced. Life is a series of dissonant chords with the resolve soon to come. I’ve always had pitch retention, that means I can keep a certain key going in my head for a long time after the music has stopped. Perhaps that’s why I am so optimistic about life; even in the dissonance I hear the original key, and am confident that the resolve chord is just around the corner. What are your roots? What keeps you grounded?