When your birthday comes around what do you think about?
I generally have a day of reflection and thanks for my life. I try to spend it with my wife and other close family if they are around.
When I pick up my horn I say, here you are still playing a year later. What is different? What is the same?
The difference in ages 16 and 56 is huge, but what is the same? Physically big changes have happened. Emotionally and mentally as well. What are those changes? Are they beneficial to my life and to others? That is my big concern and contemplation.
As far as my trombone playing goes, there are things I cannot do like I could when I was 19 or 20 years old. Especially with volume power and overall endurance. Now it is different on that level. The 'power' expresses itself in another form. The reason for playing is the same but much more refined and 'highly' tuned.
Do you ever ask yourself, who or what you play for in your mind's eye? Is it your teachers, parents, mentor's or artists you look up to and respect? I realized who I have always played for. Regardless of the many cloaks it took over the years. I used to play for my grandma, mother, father or some teachers and performers I looked up too. I always played the best for my close relatives. They believed in me and loved me. Playing for my wife Carol is truly an experience of a profound kind. Her 'acoustic' resonates with whatever is coming out of me in a pure and truthful way. With great support for my life wanting it to be as good as it can be.
All these people represent the One behind all life. That is who I play for and have always played for whether I consciously knew it or not. I always wanted to express what was in me with a purpose. I never needed a big audience to feel satisfied. I never feel 'alone'. For I believe you are never alone.
For that living reality, for all the close people in my life from the beginning to now including , parents, grandparents, siblings, wife, son, uncles, aunts, life guides, teachers, band directors, friends, pets, and students too!, I have the deepest gratitude for you all for making my life richer, more honest and fulfilling.
Music is no different to life. The One sound in all sounds. The One life in the many!