I forgot to mention yesterday that during my visit to my brother and his wife how grateful I was to be included in some Jenkins family music. Emily on mandolin, Leigh on Violin, Mark on piano and me on guitar. I enjoyed playing with this crew very much.
I am also grateful for the three musical friends I have here in Holland. I mention this because I complain so much in this place about being under estimated or just plain ignored by musicians in Western Michigan. Since I have retired this is not that big a deal for me. But as I think about moving forward with music I remember that Rhonda Edgington, Dawn Van Ark and Amy Hertel have all been very good about making music with me. Instead of bemoaning my lack of colleagues I want to reach out to those who have chosen to connect with me. I’m not sure how this is going to happen or when but it is a logical step.
Also during my time away, Holly Anderson, a member of Grace Episcopal Church, emailed me and let me know about some kittens who were available. She did this because she was aware of my loss of Edison (which I am still grieving about and whom I still miss daily). I let her know that Eileen and I had decided to not to get another pet.
Holly had also previously sent me a very gracious thank you for my music at Grace after I retired. She had told me this many times in person as well. When my retirement was announced she was not happy. She said she would still see me at church, right? I had to gently disabuse of this notion. She is one of my favorite listeners there and is an amazing person. Ever since getting the thank you from her in the mail I have been pondering how to communicate to her how essential listeners are to the whole process of music.
So I emailed her back a lengthy response to her email about the kittens. I told her about Christopher Small’s idea that music is a verb and includes all working parts from listeners to people who set up chairs to performers and on and on. I also mentioned that music is one of the essential parts of being a human. She responded in a few days how she thought this idea was cool and that she remembered a dream she was the one making the music. I like this a lot.
I continue to admire Julie Fowlis’ recent Inside Music program on the BBC. I can’t believe she produces a two hour program of this quality weekly. I listened to the whole thing this morning while making coffee and bread and cleaning the kitchen and exercising. It has inspired me to follow up on most of the music she has on her play list.
I also find her description of her education and relationship to other musicians in Scotland inspiring. It has helped me understand how my education has not always been as helpful as it could have been. This has probably assisted me as an autodidact as it has continually thrown me on my own resources. And of course this is largely the place I am now as well. A good place, actually.
This is one of the pieces on Fowlis play list that I liked. She said that she uses this music for a gentle morning wake up and that she loves the music by Horner but has never seen the movie. Cool.
I recently listened to a repeat a podcast of Al Franken interviewing Michael Harriot.
Harriot mentioned massacres in our U.S. history some of which I was not aware. This link is to a partial list by the Zinn Education Project.