At Christmas, the band I've been playing in and I went our seperate ways. Playing with Trio Gitan was a wonderful musical experience and, had we simply intended to continue what we were doing, I'd still be doing it. However, as a glance at a roadmap of Britain will show, the North Eastern edge of the Yorkshire Dales isn't exactly the centre of the musical universe. If the few roads that snake over that part of the world were veins and arteries running through a carcass, then that part of the carcass would be suffering serious circulation problems. For the band to be financially viable long term meant travelling long distances and staying away over night. I didn't like the idea of that -teaching all week and disappearing at the weekend- so, with a heavy heart, I left it. It seemed the right time: we had no gigs until March and leaving when I did would give Andy and Jack (the other two-thirds of the band) time to find a replacement.
At least I've not had the problem of wondering what to do instead. Taking the band away has simply made room in my life for all the things it was pushing out - all of it stuff I do, given the chance, for the sheer joy of it. Spending time with K, watching telly, chilling out, running, blogging, writing a bit of poetry now and again, amateur radioing.
If I get involved in playing music again outside my teaching work I think it's going to be simply because I want to, and not because I'm being paid to. That'll probably mean playing free improv (see video, below) and there's not much chance of running into anyone who's into that round here, although you never know.
I also feel strongly that music should be part of life and not just something that's done in halls full of seats. In pre-TV days people used to play the piano and sing to it. In Elizabethan times people would gather around the table and sing madrigals (the parts were often printed facing "North South East and West" to facilitate this). Being able to make your own music was considered an essential skill, like being able to use a remote control today.
Not entirely unrelated, there was an item on The Culture Show last night (BBC 2 - it was a cracking episode all round, I thought - it can be found here for a few days) about artists giving away art for free. You make a picture and leave it in the street with a "free" price tag on it. Sooner or later somebody takes it. I was reminded of IPYPIASM.
5 months ago