Monday, February 1, 2010

A Week of Wonder

I'm about to embark on a week of Stevie Wonder songs. How does one choose only seven? Well, this will probably be the first of many Weeks of Wonder.

Speaking of wonder, I realized a while back that I have a choice: I can feel overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of music there is in the world and the fact that I will never even come close to hearing all of it, much less playing or understanding it. Or I can enjoy the feeling of abundance that stems from the realization that, even if I learn a song a day (or 4, like Sabino suggested) for the rest of my life, I won't even scratch the surface of the musical universe. It seems appropriate: if there's going to be bottomless suffering and violence in the world, shouldn't we take time to notice the good stuff too?

Clearly, I do not work for the news industry. You don't sell papers by noticing the good stuff. Actually, you don't sell papers at all these days.

Speaking of suffering and music - Nat and I are performing Wednesday night as part of an eclectic musical evening, the proceeds of which are to benefit Doctors Without Borders' work in Haiti. The evening is hosted by Opera on Tap - further details are available on their website:
The Parkside Lounge - $20 - 8 p.m. until quite late judging by the number of guests.

Isn't it interesting how we are each moved to do whatever it is we do best when disaster strikes? A couple years ago, I was visiting my parents when my mom broke the news to me about a high school classmate of mine who had recently taken her own life. I had been practicing, and when I went back to the piano, I felt or heard a voice (somewhere between loud/booming and still/small) that said "MAKE MUSIC. END SUFFERING."

Yeah, I don't really get how that works either. But I have decided that that's not my job. I am a musician, wholly useless when it comes to humanitarian aid, so I play a song and hope for the best. Other people care for their kids, or teach other people's children, or grow food, or put out fires, or allow characters to inhabit their bodies to present a important story on a stage or screen. Or any number of other important things.

Cool, huh?

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