Last night was another interesting chapter in my life. The gig went the way many gigs go. The sound system was bad. The person running it was well intentioned but made difficulties for the band. Most of the band (everyone except me) spent the evening in a bad space.
Despite the difficulties and prevailing negative energy, I was very satisfied with the evening. As I usually do, I immersed myself in performing. In some ways it was like church. I get as close to what I am doing as possible and then perform with energy and enjoyment. When the evening was over, I pulled myself out of my performing daze and found that the rest of the band had a bad night. Jonathon had problems with the sound set-up. Jordan was too close to the drums and spent the evening listening to percussion drowning out his own sound, and Kevin was suffering from allergies and down energy. Go figure.
So once again I find myself still wondering if I actually have an audience for my work besides myself. Oh well. I still believe in my writing and performing. I played my piano solos pretty well. I put my heart and soul into my own compositions and performance of the other pieces. The warm-up fiddler was an excellent young musician who actually recognized Messiaen and had recently listened to his Quartet for the End of Time. I was able to explain to him the “One Page Essay” and he seemed interested. He sat and listened intently to our entire hour and a half set. I couldn’t tell how he thought it went.
I saw one lady from church and her daughter just before beginning. One other listener was oddly someone who simultaneously keeps an eye on me (reads this blog) and seems to disapprove of my work and my person. But most of the crowd was young and unfamiliar to me. Hard to tell why they were there or what exactly they were getting out of it.
The shop owner didn’t charge the announced cover. He said he was short handed. He was concerned that I had rented the piano (which Jonathon said he didn’t hear all night). I told him I would eat the piano rental as planned but it would be nice to pay the other three players something. He handed me three stacks of 35 dollars and I distributed it to my discouraged crew. So at least they got something for their efforts if not musical satisfaction.
So I found myself the sole source of positive energy. This feels a lot like looking the demon in the eye. It leaves you stronger or dead. Heh. I’m not dead. (see the poem in the previous recent blog). I do feel strong resolve in the wake of the performance. Even inspired to continue composing and practicing and performing. Maybe that will be the last time that particular configuration of players and venue comes together. That’s okay. The music keeps going and that’s what’s most important to me.