Greetings, Summerglen friends!
So, it’s been quite a long time…5 months or so really, since I took an unplanned sabbatical from the Summerglen blog. It was weird; one day, I just didn’t want to write anymore. And trombone tips videos? Blegh. If I tried to make myself get on here and write or record because I thought I “should”, any words or ideas stubbornly stayed out of reach. I knew that as an artist, forcing myself into doing work I didn’t want to do could wreak some serious creative havoc…so I just followed my gut, and ceased to blog.
But it seemed like letting go of the blog for a while allowed me to learn and grow in many other areas of my life. I’ve had experiences this year that I’ve never had before, and these sparked a deeper understanding about how I work, how music works, and what our world is really like. It’s been quite a journey, and I’d love to share it with you…but maybe in a slightly abbreviated form, so you don’t get bored.
Six cool experiences and things I learned this year:
1. Realized that the arts truly are jealous masters. If my trombone doesn’t want me to write, I’m not gonna write!
2. Discovered that watching Dr. Phil every morning with a misbehaving pet rabbit can bring out the nicer side of its personality. Our biting, thumping bunny turned into a snuggling, affectionate bunny over the course of a few weeks.
3. Completely broke and with little prior planning, my best girlfriend and I ran off to the mountains for a weekend in August. We ended up staying with complete strangers, playing trains with their young son, and cleaning the New River in kayaks.
4. Found out that if I maintain a repertoire of “tricky spots”, and take time to practice and record them on a regular basis, it beefs up my technique and makes it much easier to keep several different pieces at performance level.
5. Even when working with friends, we musicians must use contracts, and we must take the time to establish boundaries and expectations for everyone involved in the project. I tried to neglect this truth earlier in the year, and my Inner Artist took a serious beating.
6. I started doing Anusara yoga this year, and it’s been such a fulfilling experience in many different ways. I feel more balanced, spiritually connected, and full of energy…but one of the biggest things it’s given me is a reminder to approach life and music with a Beginner’s (open) Mind. It’s easy to play the “expert” and try to have the definitive answer to everything. But really, the longer I play and the longer I live, the fewer answers I have. And that’s a good thing.
Thanks for reading, and until next time, take care!