Tonight I went and saw a friend and his brothers band play music. I haven’t been to live music since September last year. It’s been a while. It’s not something I go out of my way to see. Tonight reminded me why I should. What follows are some thoughts and descriptions of the gig.
The night starts with Sam.
Sam reminds me of why I love playing the guitar. Sitting there in the small hollow in trendy Melbourne, the walls painted the tungsten orange of old lightbulbs, watching his well-practised fingers dance along the guitar is something I truly can’t describe properly. The strange rises and falls to his pieces. The dissonance that becomes melody (or something like that, I’m not a music student) and the quick flourishes darting from one end to the other of the guitar. The music reflects in on itself and becomes a conversation between Sam and his guitar. Controlled by deft fingers, the mistakes he might be making erased and hidden behind the immense show of skill and passion and humanity. They are songs I want to listen to forever, fondly smiling whenever he returns to one particular pattern before racing off to another dazzling of intricate picking and fingering that I will never ever possess. Listening to Sam reminds me why I wanted to play the guitar in the first place, and why I’ll never be as good as someone like Sam. The hours and hours of practice to perfect, and the deep abiding love and joy that comes out as Sam plays, twisting and bopping his head to his rhythms. It places me in a state of transfixed awe.
And then its over. And he’s making a funny joke and we’re all laughing.
Then the Foxymorons come on.
Jazz isn’t something I regularly listen to. Listening to it then and there though it reminds me why my Dad loves it so much. It finally lets me see a little bit through his eyes. As I watch all the separate musicians excellently combining and riffing of what everyone else is doing, like an extravagant conversation about life the universe and everything. It ebbs and flows. Builds from solo to solo, to a huge combination of all instruments. As I look around I’m reminded that you can’t enjoy jazz without bopping your head or twitching your hands or tapping your leg. And the sounds just all around everyone. Pulling us at that moment into the rhythms of their choice, taking us on their own little form of story and emotion.
We leave, a little too early. I’ll definitely be back for another gig.
Even now the music still bouncing about in my brain. What a night to remind me of music. To remind me why I love it. To remind me of good artists doing what they do best, making good art. Because that’s what it is at the end of the day. It’s artists, specifically incredible musicians, working at the top of their game. Making art for our ears to hear. Reminding me always that that’s it. Connect with people. Vibe off each other. Listen to each other and play your own solo and then bring it back to the group. In everything you do. In every piece your write or film you make. Make good art and people will come and they’ll enjoy it while they’re there.