One thing I was hoping to get from taking time off was a fresh perspective. I think I might be approaching this a bit. It’s interesting to note that I’m not missing work nor even playing the very fine Pasi organ there. I think this says something about where my own enjoyment comes from. Music is very important to my daily life. It is the water I live in. But more and more in my sixties I live there alone.
My only true colleague with whom I share some understanding is my boss, Jen Adams. This is a godsend and i know it. But though she is an astute boss, she’s not another musician. I share stuff with other local musicians, but I am feeling more and more that my own perspective is way more broad than any muscian I know. Yesterday morning I showered to the dulcet tones of John Lee Hooker. You know. The guy from the Blues Brothers
I admit that he was one of the few musicians in the Blues Brothers that I didn’t know that well, Cab Calloway is the other. I recently watched a “Making of Blues Brothers” video on YouTube and was annoyed with one thing about Jon Landis the director. He said that he had trouble with Aretha Franklin and James Brown because they couldn’t lip sync. This makes me crazy. He got around it by allowing them to perform their part live while the others lip synced. He didn’t mention John Lee Hooker.
Anyway, my musical interests have always been rather wide ranging. From John Lee Hooker to Bartok, from the Doors to Bach, from … well you get the idea. And they have led me into many interesting pursuits of understanding. Often I am not able to match other musicians narrow understandings of music. This doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate where we overlap (Hi Rhonda!). It’s just that no one, and I mean no one, in my musical sphere comes close to seeing music the way I do.
This has led me to think of myself as primarily a music lover. I think of it a bit like the idea of a common reader. My understanding of the common reader is they are motivated by the pleasure of what they read no matter where that leads them. Also I think of them as autodidacts (which is definitely the way I see myself).
This makes me wonder if I am a sort of a common music lover. I definitely am not academic. Nor am I primarily a pop musician, a jazz musician, a blues musician, a harpsichordist, an organist, you name it. I guess I’ve gone a bit beyond dabbling in these areas. But my wide tastes make perfect sense to me.
And part of the perspective I am developing is that I can pursue this wide approach by myself even though one of my great joys is making music with other people. So playing duets with Rhonda, playing with my piano trio, even leading a roomful of worshipers in common song is fun for me. But not doing any of this doesn’t seem to surface on my radar as something I am missing or long to do.
I’m hoping that when I return to work, I can convince myself that truly not much is required of me there. I think part of my loss of perspective was confusing my own passion for music (especially as evidenced by learning pieces on the Pasi) with work. It never felt like work to practice on the Pasi. And indeed it wasn’t. Doing my gig well does not necessarily involve challenging myself. My job is about showing up on Sunday and leading from the organ and preparing the choir to assist in this.
My task is to help myself understand that when I return to work I can still do a lot of the goofing off I am doing now and even did before.
You know. Perspective.