Tuesday nights are now Rehearsal Night for me. Again. Boy.
I drove home in tears.
But it's good to be playing music again, right?
Yes. It really is.
But there is just something that is so hard to explain.
I've been playing Clarinet 3 to get my chops back in shape, but I brought the alto with me tonight just in case they would have room for me to read some charts.
Don't get me wrong, please.
I enjoy playing.
Every time I do play, I'm hit with a particular type of grief.
There have been so many music groups of which I've been part over the years and I feel their shadows whenever I play in new situations. I mean, it's a new experience with new people on Tuesday nights in Cali, but I just feel past peeps hanging around- not ghosts, rather musical memories captured by time and feeling from long ago.
It's heartbreaking. I miss so many people.
Technology keeps us in touch, but some have passed on, and there is just no making up for time away from people like this.
I just don't think this post will really make much sense unless you have really been in musical "family" before, but I'll continue to try and explain.
One of my favorite groups to play for was the Minnesota Jazz Orchestra. Yes, we rehearsed. Yes, we played gigs. But this band-
It became a living thing. The music started coming alive! The parts of paper music became parts of us as individuals and as the whole band organism. The paper music became a sort of enhancement to each player and the group melded into one sound. Maybe that makes sense?
All I know is, I played second alto and sat between Evan and Aaron. We had our own jokes about goings on that only our group would understand, and fortunately, those types of things live on in other bands, too. As band members, we grew together.
So, leaving a band voluntarily is not really ever something people do unless it is physically impossible to be a member of the organism any longer.
I moved from Minnesota in 2007 after an amazing campfire/gathering/party to celebrate the rest of my life. I am not sure if I cried as I left that evening, but the truth is, I cried tonight. Ugh.
Yes, I'll meet new people.
Yes, I'll practice reading.
(Music, that is....)
Yes, I'll enjoy playing again.
Yes, there is a website where i can keep funny anecdotes and ephemera.
Yes, I can be in contact with any of the band mates with technology.
Time changes the organism and the only thing I have left are the memories.
This blog is a place where I can explore the sadness that overcame me tonight.
We lost a musical friend in the MJO in 2013. His voice kept creeping into my rehearsal time tonight. It was like he needed some "time" for him to prove he was there. Boy, did he let me know.
We used to chat about "Schwee"- a sound some alto sax players make, and I heard that tonight.
I just kept playing.
The rhythms felt so natural and the notes fell out in the right places. (I cannot say that about the clarinet part, but it'll get better.)
The percussion section needs players....maybe that would help?
To my musical brother, Aaron Hilden, Rest In Peace.
You are truly gone too early.
As for the rest of you people in my musical head of memories-
Chill out. Listen to some classic Sinatra and go to sleep.
And, as readers, no matter what else you chose to do today, please let the musicians in your life know they are the best you have ever heard.