The Music of My Life

Last night I went to a bad ass concert featuring the brilliant Jonny Lang and the legend that is Buddy Guy. It was very likely the best concert I’ve ever been to. I’m not going to try to review it, because every time I try to write a music review it ends up sounding like the scene from Almost Famous where Patrick Fugit tells Stillwater that they’re incendiary. However, it was a truly excellent show, and if you like blues guitar at all then you should try to catch Buddy Guy or Jonny Lang if you ever have the opportunity. If you don’t like blues guitar, then stop reading my blog. Seriously. I don’t write for the likes of you.

Music has has been a big part of my life ever since I joined the school band when I was in 5th grade. I’m not entirely sure where my constant desire to make music comes from, as my parents to my knowledge never did anything music related beyond grade school. Over my own personal musical odyssey, which is now in its 23rd year, I’ve met and played with some musicians for whom playing a technical etude was as easy as reciting the alphabet. I’ve met people who’s instrument was almost an extension of their body. I’ve even met people who’s musical talents are so vast, they’re exceeded only by the size of their egos. Generally, those tend to be trumpet players. I am not, nor will I ever be, that person. I’ve had to work for every note that I’ve ever produced. I have no disillusions about being a musical virtuoso. In my eyes, I’m just the kid who never quit high school band because he liked playing too much. And that is something I have absolutely no problem with. I don’t play because I’m a brilliant musician (I’m not) and I don’t play because I have an unconscious need to show off my musical ability to the world (It’s not that impressive). I play because I love it. The parts I play on my weapon of choice (the bass clarinet) are not the sexy, solo parts that garner worldwide fame, or even result in kids running up to you after a performance. I have no problem with that either, because it’s not my own sound that I’m in love with. What I love is being a part of the sound produced by the finest wind ensemble in the world. The sheer joy I get from doing that is something that I won’t even attempt to put into words.

I chose to write about music today because 1) “Life in B-Flat” is a reference to the key my clarinet is in (it’s not a fancy metaphor like Tim thinks) 2) I’d put music in the subtitle of this blog and I thought that I should expand on that past yesterday’s time warp back to the 80’s and 3) The Jonny Lang / Buddy Guy concert last night reminded me of just how much I love music. I would challenge anyone out there who loves music as much as I do to keep doing it until your fingers don’t move anymore, or there’s no longer a breath in your lungs. At that point you’ll have to just peform symphonies in your own head. You don’t have to be a brilliant musician to love music. You don’t even have to be a good musician to love music. As long as music is something that gives you joy, then it should never stop being a part of your life. Unless you’re a new age jazz musician. Then you should probably just stop now, because what you’re doing is a crime against humanity.

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