Let’s review resolutions for last year:
|Music is my joy|
1: Keep playing! (Don’t know if I dare be more specific than that)
2: Keep blogging … a tremendous amount of fun this year, and I have some very nice big projects in the works.
3: Sing and play … at the same time. My eternal resolution.
How did I do? It’s complicated. (Forgive me for perhaps over-sharing, but I can’t write this if it’s not honest.)
I’m going to say that, in many areas, this has been the worst year of my adult life. My wife ended our marriage after fourteen years. And twelve days ago I lost my job.
But music … music has been my salvation. I recorded and released my CD of French music, L’Autre Diatoniste, an amazing artistic experience working with friend musicians and a very smart, collaborative sound engineer, Caleb Orion.
I have begun work with a new group featuring clarinet, mountain dulcimer, me on accordion, and a French mezzo … the group is Le Bon Truc. I have to tell you … I don’t have a great history with bands. The psychological element of playing in a band is very difficult for me … But these musicians … it is an amazing experience playing with them. We’ve had about four gigs, and have four more lined up already between now and March.
|And also, the tattoo|
I acquired a Dino Baffetti three-row F/Bb/Eb. Acquiring things is always nice, of course, but the point is that getting this new instrument with a three-row quint tuning (as opposed to a two-row + acc) has really made me pay attention to both instruments in a new way. I’ve thought about getting the Baffetti tuned F/Bb/acc so that the fingerings between my two boxes would be transferable (and transposing), but I feel like the two boxes being subtly different is actually making me a better player.
Thus, in terms of my resolutions, I have played more. I have blogged more. I have not worked on singing while playing. Instead I joined a group with a vocalist.
1) Play more.
2) Blog more.
3) Work on group playing (i.e., being more flexible in terms of harmonies, accompaniments, and melody. Friend clarinetist, Steve, plays these amazing obligatos. I would love to be able to do that.)
The barrier to these is a creeping (occasionally raging) depression. I’m working on it. Seeing someone. Medicating. Doing what I think is necessary. But it’s gotten bad.
I look to my music for respite and joy. When in doubt, do your art. Here’s a set of polkas performed by Le Bon Truc. They always make me happy.
Thanks for listening.