Sunday, November 06, 2005

Home Concerts

Last night, Beth and I invited the neighbors over for an event we're calling "First Saturday". Every month, we're opening up our home to create an evening of singing and good times. By all accounts, this first "First Saturday" was a real hit! Our friends left with big smiles and some could even be heard singing "Kumbaya" as they paraded down the street to their home. Now, that's spreading a little joy, huh?

Although this post is a bit off-topic for "Music for Chidren", it's relevant if anyone out there is interested in hosting these types of events. I find it essential for adults to allow the child inside of them to be let out to play, don't you? Music, and folk rock music in particular, is certainly a way to help make that happen. We, all of us, have a connection to music and I'm very happy to open up our home to allow friends to express that part of themselves. Anyway, on with the story...

We were very nervous - as we always are - about bringing guests into our home. Beth and I don't throw a lot of parties, so we're kind of anxious in those couple of hours leading up to an event. I'm not kidding when I say that I felt like stopping the world for a minute to practice some deep breathing. Geez, do other people get so crazy when people are coming over to their homes? I'm sure that some of my nerves were based upon a desire to make everything work out "perfectly".

Nerves nonwithstanding, the event began and ended well. Guitars, mandolins, trombones and bass guitars were unpacked. Song sheets flowed around the room along with small percussion instruments and, yes, a glass or two of vino. We began with a song by The Band called "The Weight" and I magically felt the weight leave my shoulders as I began doing what I love best: singing, playing and being a pied piper. What fun!

It didn't take long for old friends and new ones to begin harmonizing, laughing and letting go of any inhibitions that they may have brought along with them. Every time I looked up, I saw smiles. It was fun to watch my friend Holly pick up a triangle for the perfect accent to a song, to watch Elliot switch between trombone and keyboards so effortlessly and hear Lenny keep us grounded with his bass. Next door neighbor, Bill, played and sang wonderfully on his beautiful Guild guitars and Beth, Dorit and Jen held down the women's vocal lines. Across the room, I watched Scott close his eyes to enjoy the warmth of the room while his wife Joy and friends Patty and Charles sang (or tapped along in Charles' case). A small and wonderful group, indeed, that I'm quite certain will return as the nucleus of future events.

One of the many blessings for me was the easy way in which people who had never or rarely played and sang together complimented one another so well. I return again to my thoughts of dis-ease that began the night for me and compare that with the way the evening actually played out. It's hard for me to express it in words because I feel so deeply connected to not the words, but to the feelings behind what occured here last night. I guess you just have to be there sometimes. "There" in this case meant being very present, emotinally and spiritually atuned.

To me, it's the best way to live.


Isidora said...

Hello! I really liked what you wrote, about not having television... and getting it eventually. We were once a family like that as well. Because we didn't have television it is easier for us to control ourselves, and like your daughter stand up when it's enough. But I'm writing to you for some other reason. I read that you write music for children's television. I presumed you might know a lot about children's songs... so I was looking for this particular one I sang while I lived in Johannesburg SA. It's called "Child be" I don't know who the writer. I know the tune very well, and some of the words but am very very eager to have the whole song. Do you maybe know it? I've tried looking through the regular internet database, but no luck. I think I won't have any luck trying in my town library... it's a very specific song. Some of the words are: "Child be a tree that's tall, child me a hmmmmmmm that's brave,
child be a light that shines in the night,
and leads a traveller through the storm..."
Well that's something of it I remember. It's a very dear song to me.
Thank you for listening.
Isidora from Belgrade, Serbia.

drivinman said...

Here's a great resource if you want to do it again.