Sunday, September 15, 2013

A little of this and a little of that

This has been a busy yet confusing week therefore not much has been blogged!

I have been following a friend as she blogs and walks the Camino trail. You can follow at It wears me out hearing about the distance and time and the blisters. I love that she is doing it and not me.  My two day bike jaunt in Quebec tops my list of physical challenges.

Spent a couple of days at the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival in Fredericton. My mind is not a musical mind, it tends to muse away from the music to think about the people playing or if I am completely honest to something far removed from the music. But on Saturday afternoon I was attending a concert of three blues musicians who played and sang old blues tunes. As I sat there I realized my mind was wandering much less and I believe it was partly because they stopped and told fun and engaging stories about themselves and the pieces they are about to play and sing. I could also hear what they were saying. Truly I am not sure why most musicians especially those in bigger bands even bother to try to talk to the audience since no one I know can understand a thing they are saying. (and a lot of these folks are young and haven't lost part of their hearing from standing for too many years in front of huge speakers). Anyway back to my three musicians. My first thought was how much of every day they must have practiced to get to be so good on their instruments. These are not child progidies nor are they simple studio musicians. These guys are the real deal. I would imagine they have had some hungry years but they appear to have stayed with it and now are fluent and relaxed when they play (at least outwardly). I don't know of many careers where a person continues to practice and experiment well into their senior years as these blues people.
 I saw one young singer/musician who played his electric guitar with this mouth. The woman sitting in front of us turned and said "I really don't know what to say about that". My sentiments exactly. Did he practice that for hours a day until he could do it? I can only shake my head at the wasted time that must have been.
The good singer/musicians do keep my non musical brain more engaged and for longer periods of time and some of them actually make me shiver. The shiver is a really big sign the music has gotten through the verbal grey matter to my amygdala. There were no goosebumps gotten from the mouth playing guitarist but maybe he needs more practice hours.

These are the great ones.

Mouth playing of guitar


  1. I am not good with listening to music if there is no melody - I just can't seem to go there... Interesting about whether expertise leads to a deeper connection. It is probably also life experience coming through too maybe? Judy Garland singing Over the Rainbow in her 40s makes me cry, whereas singing it when she was 16 makes me smile. Of course, I know that the she didn't get over the rainbow when she was in her 40s - anything but - whereas the 16 year old still might make it. Thought-provoking post!

  2. Have you read Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell? I think it was in that book where he talks about the hours a musician must practice before they become adept----maybe 10,000 hours. I might have my numbers wrong, but I believe The Beatles "practiced" together for 10years before they were "discovered." I must have clocked 10,000 hours of knitting, by now. And eating. And sleeping. And reading. And maybe walking.
    Anyway, your entry reminded me of that book.
    By the way, do you listen to music as you write?

  3. No I don't listen to anything. I don't "hear" music if my mind is busy.