Tuesday, March 28, 2006

More Band Geekiness

That last post was very gushy... But it was because I was still in the "moment" of it all. After seeing that, I remember why I started to "do" music. People always asked me what made me start, and why it was such a huge part of my life. Since I was 9 years old, music has been a part of my life. Once I got into junior high, I was in 3 bands, then in high school, I was in 4 and sometimes even 5. (yeah yeah, I know I know, geeksville). I played a whole bunch of instruments and I think almost a different one in each band, I had so much music in my folder it was held together with duck tape. I was usually at school from 7:20 until 5 or 3:30 every day of the week, I had sore lips and sore arms, had to drag percussion equipment across the school twice a day, sacrificed many weekends to "band camp" aka doing marching drills and rehearsal after rehearsal for three days straight, had to deal with our poor, frustrated teacher who had to deal with US, had to try to impress the aforementioned Tyler, who had this totally cool guy air about him, walking around with his whole "I'm a musician" vibe which made us swoon over and over again... then horribly disappointing him, even after he took us out for a fancy dinner to "show us some culture".

THEN, I had to deal with probably the hardest thing that I've ever had to deal with when it comes to band, and that is praise. I am not about to brag about this and that, but I was talented, and I guess other people saw that in me. You'd think I'd love that kind of attention, since I do in other parts of my life, but the music praise was tough for me. Getting attention from our guest directors and clinicians at festivals was the worst, (even though it meant the most) because I had to sit there, with the rest of my band, and listen to people offer me full ride scholarships to their universities or asking me if I was a professional and just sitting in for this high school band. All I remember about those kind of situations is the guilt that I felt, since I was getting this attention and the rest of the people in my band weren't, even though some were equally and more talented than I. I wish I could have appreciated it more, but all I felt was embarassment and horrible horrible guilt.

So, going back to the question of why I did music, why I sacrificed so much for it. I never used to have an answer for people, especially my non band classmates when they would ask me why I'm in stupid band as I'm wheeling a marimba after rehearsal across the packed foyer before regular classes started. I used to say "the trips" or "because I like it I guess"... but those never really explained it. But after last night, I remembered a moment that I had, in my very last band festival I ever performed, during this particular song. I got the shivers, and they didn't go away for a few minutes. My OWN playing, along with the rest of the band, gave me the shivers. That is why I did it all. And last night, I got the shivers so many times, and it made me remember all the moments like that. Seeing Tyler's face during certain moments, knowing the kind of feeling he was having... I remember that feeling.

After the concert I got a chance to talk to him, which was great. He remembered be, we chatted about this and that, I told him I wasn't doing too much music stuff now since I didn't have time with school, and he asked me "do you miss it?" and I instantly, without even thinking about my words said "oh yeah... I miss it tons". So I guess I miss it, a lot. We chatted a bit more, he talked about how he really misses our group from high school, then almost died when he realized how long ago it was that he taught us, invited me to go for a drink though I couldn't because I had to work early today, so we decided that we would go another night, to catch up... It's weird thinking that I'm kind of a grown-up now, and I can "go for drinks" with the guy I always wished I could go for drinks with in high school. But seeing the performance, seeing Tyler, seeing his moments, made me remember all of mine. And it made me remember why I did it.


Lulu said...

so now will you play for me???? I think we should have an imprompto concert....
PS - I like that your a band geek - now I have someone to ask about music-y stuff - glad you had a good time!

Devo said...

We should jam sometime, I'll bring my trombone home with me and we'll have a jam session.

--Nathan-- said...

i play a pretty mean trombone myself, although i have an "Unorthodox" meathod playing

lu said...

i think what you are talking about is passion and i got the shivers reading about you got the shivers, which i think is the best thing - when you can inspire others with your passion for something.

i bet napoleon would appreciate those 'skills'

Dr. Papa said...

Passion is a part of it, I think. I also think there is something magic that happens when you make music with a group of people - whether you know them well or whether they are relative strangers.

I know that is why I sing. There is a sense of losing myself to the music and to the group. I feel like I become one with the people and the music all at the same time. When it is good, it is like some heavenly high that can not be mimicked by any chemical. When it is bad, it is just work.

When I stopped singing for so many years, I think that I began to lose a part of myself. I tried to find other ways to experience that sense of one-ness with others. That saw all kinds of weird seminars on personal growth.

Anyway...I am glad you went to see your colleague perform. I am thrilled that you rediscovered your music.

You are a gifted musician - according to those who instruced you - and I would love to see you rediscover all that goes with that giftedness.