In 1987, I moved to the Holland area to work as a full-time church musician for the local Catholics. I worked there for about thirteen years. I quit mostly because I wanted to do some other stuff before I die. Heh.
Last night I saw many people from this phase of my life. It made me realize how unhappy I probably was as musician for this community.Â Not that people didn’t treat me well. And of course last night everyone seemed very glad to see me.
It’s just that since then I have concentrated on finding things to do that I find fulfilling. This has been learning more about recording, writing and practicing music more, and doing some adjunct teaching. I think this has changed my mindset to one of asking a bit more out of my life than I did as a Catholic church musician. It’s something I probably couldn’t see at the time.
But now I don’t really want to work with anyone I can’t see clearly as a sympathetic colleague. This thought comes to me clearer as I watch my friend and colleague, Jonathan Fegel, prepare to get the heck of dodge (That would be Holland Michigan).
Jonathan and I were talking yesterday and he mentioned that many of his friends had misinterpreted our relationship as one of father and son. I asked him, who was the father? Heh. Jonathan has taught me a lot and I’m sure he’s learned stuff in the time we have worked together. Much of our collegial connection is because we understand each other’s music. In my case (but probably actually in Jonathan’s too) that is a rarity. I can make music that I think fits a certain situation like church (or the dinner reception last night).
But my midlife crisis led me to ask myself, what would I do if I only did what I wanted to do? What music would I play? What would I write? I am still in the process of answering these questions for myself.
But after trying to politely field many very friendly and civil enquiries last night, I realize that my answers are not easily conveyed to other people since they are so vague and in process.
That’s fine with me. In fact, I prefer the route I am on now.
Driving home last night, I got bored with the radio and put on some of my own recordings. I realized that I am essentially very proud of my work even though it’s shortcomings (especially in the recordings themselves, not the songs) is painfully evident to me.
Oops time to go to work.