Saturday, February 20, 2016

So I talk a lot but what do I sound like?

  I often wonder that when reading music blogs. I'm not even judgmental about it. I'll just read what someone has to say and then think 'That's a neat idea. I'd like to hear them play.'.

So, with that in mind, he's the latest example of my playing.

Is it a perfect performace? Of course not. I was trying to perform the piece from memory and as such, had a few flubs. Overall, though, I'm happy with the performance and believe it was very solid for an undergraduate music major; even one with a few white whiskers in his beard.

Give it a listen. Let me know what you think!

Monday, February 8, 2016

On Losing your Passion....

There's a hand painted sign on my wall which reads 'Do it with passion, or not at all.'. Someone very important to me gave it to me as a reminder.

   It's a cliche but a pretty cool one nonetheless and it does ring true. The question remains, though- What happens when the passion is no longer there?

    You see, this isn't my first time on the music merry go round. I entered school at eighteen as a saxophone performance major. I developed a very professional classical sound on both alto and tenor fairly quickly. I was meeting the right big names. I had everything BUT the maturity to spend a few hours a night not chasing girls and buckle down in the practice room to hone my craft.
    Over time, it became obvious that I was going nowhere and lacked the maturity to be a music major (or pretty much any major, for that matter). I somehow managed to get a degree in a different field which I thought I really liked. Music, I decided, would become a hobby. It was for the best, I thought.
     I bounced from job to job and nothing seemed to work for me. Part of it was a lack of maturity. A large part of it, though, was that nothing seemed to fit. Four or five years after my graduation (I was only playing saxophone once about every six months at this point) a good friend of mine got me into my first rock band and I was playing again. Less than a year later we started our own band and I got to play with it for over a decade. I was playing again! Sort of....
      The situation was better but there was still a hole. I managed to stick with jobs for a while longer but still nothing really fit and I kept running into walls when I tried to move up and become more successful. Something was still 'off'.
      Finally through some strange circumstances I got to do something that I NEVER thought I'd be able to do. Thanks to my parents I got to hit the 'do over' button and return to school to get the degree I should have gotten in the first place. Well, maybe I shouldn't have gotten it in the first place. Maybe I just wasn't ready. I'm not sure I was truly ready when I got here as I had little idea what I was doing and less on how to be a student. I've since worked that out.
So, why am I giving you a  rambling autobiography which has nothing to do with the title?

      Part of the reason I got out of music in the first place was that I thought I'd lost the passion for it. After all of this time I can tell you that I never lost it. It was buried under a pile of confusion, frustration, and lack of direction. Subconsciously, I think I buried it deeper to convince myself that I was happy with my career choice.

So what's the point?

       The POINT is that I'm not sure that if something is our 'passion' we really ever lose it. We might get lost. We might get frustrated. Life might seem to get in our way. However, it WILL surface again if we let it. For your sake, if you've buried your passion, dig it the hell up!

If you have a talent that you have cultivated, whether it be music, art, writing, basketball, I don't care...continue to cultivate it. If there is something you think about every day. If there's an activity  you long for when it isn't there (which reminds me of how badly I miss the beach!) then it is absolutely 100% supposed to be part of your life.

I know this has nothing to do with saxophone but I have moments of self-reflection and milliseconds of wisdom.

Thanks for reading!