I have been doing a fair bit of performing at the moment. Or if not actual performing, I’ve been visiting venues, setting up concerts – all the stuff that goes with performing. I love it – the actual moment of performing. Of sharing with the people in the room with me. Of giving the audience a piece that I have prepared for them in as true as way as I can play. This piece mightn’t always be ‘beautiful’ – it might have strange sounds in it, or be exciting, or disturbing – but I will try and play it as accurately and as truthfully as I can. This tight-rope walking in a concert, this risk-taking – I love it.
And then after the concert there’s times when people want to come and talk to me. I have been their centre of attention, and continue to be, just for a moment more. They want to share stories with me, or give me a hug, or just say something about the night. I like this part too – it still feels like a celebration to me.
I am still the centre of attention, as the performer. Then I often go out to dinner, and everyone is still buoyed up by the performance (usually). There’s laughing and eating and drinking – and people are still often talking about the concert. Again, there’s attention directed towards me, and what I have achieved.
And this might happen three nights in a row for me. It’s easy to get swept up in the hype… (For other performers it happens more.) I usually perform over a weekend, as I have another part of my life.
Then, for me, it all changes. I go into a school and teach kids who have no idea what I’ve just done over the last few days. They don’t care how well (or not-so-well) I’ve played. They don’t give a damn.
I love this. The attention goes totally away from me, and what I have done. My feet come back to earth. I am just the music teacher. I am still doing the same thing – sharing music – but in a totally different way. It reminds me that it’s not me that is important. It’s the music.
I like this about my life. Very much. Keeps everything in perspective for me….