December 30, 2010
I’ve always felt that music is both soothing to the soul and spiritual. It can transcend you to a different time and place whether you’re playing the music or just listening to it.
This past weekend I lost a friend and colleague to a tragic car accident. The first thing I did was turn to my music. Both to help her soul along its path and to try to make sense of this tragedy. Some believe that it takes three days for the soul to leave the body and that music helps carry it along. So here I play my tunes for you, Kaye. May you pass through with all the happiness and joy you passed through to us. You were an inspiration and will be sorely missed.
Below is one of my favorite songs by the Wailin’ Jenny’s. It’s called Long Time Traveller and its about the hope of heaven. I hope you finished your journey to heaven, Kaye. You will forever remain in the melody of my music.
December 11, 2010
Liz Carroll and John Doyle are two of my favorite Irish musicians. Not just because they are both amazing musicians but because watching them together is mesmerizing. I watch this video and I can’t help but notice how little Liz moves her fingers and yet she creates this huge sound. And John, well there’s a man who loves what he does. His rhythmic playing just makes me want to jump out of my seat and dance. Check ‘em out:
December 9, 2010
I was recently asked if I would play some Christmas music with my cousin for our family Christmas eve celebration. As I pulled out my old sheet music and started to practice the songs that have been sung to me every year since my birth, I remembered just how beautiful the music really is.
It reminds me of my childhood when my grandmother used to read us How The Grinch Stole Christmas under the Christmas tree. And I remember the excitement of waiting for Santa Claus and trying desperately to stay awake to listen for the reindeer on the roof. I also remember singing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer so many times that to this day that song is banned from being sung in our house.
But what I remember most is being in church, listening to the music, hearing the choir sing, literally like angels, and feeling a tingle down my spine as it all echoed through the halls.
The whole scene in my head reminds me of just how special music is. It stirs memories, it creates emotion, it brings us together. So whether it’s at a session, a concert, a church or even just someone walking down the street humming tune, take time to relish in the music this holiday season.
With that, I’d like to share with you one of my favorite Christmas carols – The Carol of the Bells by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. What’s your favorite Christmas carol?
Enjoy the music and happy holidays.
December 1, 2010
There is beauty in the white space. Whether its art, advertising or music, that empty space can enhance an experience. You don’t have to use every color or play every note for something to be beautiful. In fact some of the most beautiful tunes have a break in them and some of the most touching pieces of art are the simplest of pictures.
The same holds true at a session. There are definitely different sets of core tunes played at each session so unless you frequent the same session every week, there are going to be moments where you don’t know the tune and you have to sit one or two out. This doesn’t mean you have to stomp your feet or slap your hands or, God forbid, pick up the spoons because you feel left out. This is an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of a session, listen to a new tune or just relish in the white space.
Listening can sometimes be the best part. I think too many times we get wrapped up in thinking that we have to be participating at every moment in order to enjoy the session. But I dare you to take a step back and take a view from a different angle. You may just like what you find.