Stories are all around us. The skill is to pay attention. Finding stories in the everyday and actually writing them down instead of just noticing them and moving on.
Stories are as ephemeral as soap bubbles if you don’t write them down. I know that deep in my heart and yet I let so many float away on the breeze.
The piano at my house had a bad note. One of the pins that held one of the strings kept slipping in its hole, and the string could not stay in tune. The result was truly obnoxious. . When I sat at the piano I found myself expending energy to avoid the note, modifying my playing to stay away Continue reading “One Bad Note”
I used to keep a notebook in high school filled with ideas for song lyrics and poems. None of them were very good. I think many of us had such a notebook, either in the back of our trapper keepers or tucked away under our mattresses. While I didn’t hold my writing in high regard I do remember Continue reading “Diamonds Toward You and Rubies Away”
What makes us like a song? The first time I heard Romeo & Juliet was a cover version by Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls. It’s a raw version and I was gripped by the naked emotion of Ray’s voice and her exposed acoustic guitar. In college this song was on my top-10 favorites list, and years later Continue reading “Romeo & Juliet”
The carrying case for my digital piano. For years, I resisted putting stickers on my case. I wasn’t sure I wanted them there, because I don’t usually prefer the scattered disorganization, and I knew once the first sticker got stuck, there was no going back. Finally, when my daughter was about 5 years old and Continue reading “A Place To Put The Stickers”
In creating original music, I used to bring fully formed songs to the band. All the chords, all the changes, all the lyrics. This worked reasonably well although I was never completely satisfied with the outcome because I could always hear more potential than I was able to communicate to the other Continue reading “Sausage Making Songs”
Some New Years Day thoughts about how music, and all art in general, meets three primary human longings.
First, we as humans long for community. We long to share our experiences Continue reading “3 Reasons We Create Art”
Something about performing music always brings me precisely into the present moment. There’s a difference between expectation and experience. Expectation is what we hope for, what we long for. Experience is what’s actually here. Letting go of expectation so we can stay focused in the Continue reading “Expectation vs. Experience”
I met another musician at a wedding several years ago who shared a perspective that has been formative for me not just as a musician but also as a leader, a father, and a friend.
He said once you’ve taken your place on stage with instrument or Continue reading “The Value of Constant Preparation”
Every musician I’ve played with cares about the music. To play to the best of our ability, or create the right vibe, or reflect back the energy of the crowd, or do right by the original artist. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, but we aim for quality and the music matters. The notes matter.
Continue reading “Notes that Matter”