Contemplating Jazz: My Life with My Oldest Friend… Music – Lesson #2

Constance Macy reading Howl while I play bass, and Hugh bangs the skinsI don’t get to do it very often. Play music that is. I love it really. It’s one of the few times when I feel like I have all of my faculties. My bass is like a third arm, or an extra kidney, or possibly the reason I have a pancreas (what the hell is that thing for anyway?).

Tonight, I go to do something that is both exhilarating, stressful, and downright scary. Go in cold with people that you’ve never played with before to do spoken word for a poem you only marginally know (in all honestly, I knew about 94% of Ginsberg’s Howl Parts 1 and 2, but never heard or read the full version —  I must look more into it).  This was for the last night event for  the Kurt Vonnegut Library’s Banned Books Week. It was actually quite fun, I stretched my mental muscle, and got to talk with really cool Indy peeps. Most of all I just got to play.

The best part about it is that, and I am sure that she is not aware of it, that I was able to do improv with an actress who really punched out the lines. It was like an aural conductor. I tried to play it smooth and low so as not to upset her pacing, but the combination of her speaking, the environment, and the rhythm of Ginsberg’s work really made for an interesting piece.

Okay, so I could be blowing this all out of proportion, but it was quite fun nonetheless and something I plan to do more of.

I would chalk this up to Lesson #2 of my creative guidebook. Do more than one thing. It’s great doing art and designing websites, but I wouldn’t have gotten into them if it weren’t for music. Because of music, I got into theatre (notice the ‘re’), which led to audio design, which led to scenic design, which led to working at a liquor store for 2 years, which led me to go back to school, which led me to cooking to support myself, which led to designing flyers and menus, which led to turning on a computer, which led to me finally learning algebra, and really isn’t that why we are all here. Because we hated algebra, but we loved music — isn’t that ironic.

Music just makes sense to me. Whether it’s the top 40 tripe (by the way #tripe + #working = #twerking), or just some good ol’ singing by the camp fire. Music just makes sense. It’s the first form of us trying to physically communicate with each other.

Except for that Kenny G shit. That is just wrong.

Author’s Note: I would like to thank Hugh Vandivier and VonnegutLibrary

Jazz Trio ( a sketch story told in three parts):

The Trumpet Player

The Trio Pt 1: The Trumpet Player

The Drummer

The Trio Pt 2: The Drummer

The Bass Player

The Trio Pt 3: The Bass


Please support the reading, writing, and the end of  censorship of books, literature, and the dissemination of ideas. For more information on Banned Books Week please visit The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library. Also, look out for a silent auction of local Indianapolis artists to raise money for the The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library and other banned book initiatives.

More reading on The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library and #bannedbooksweek

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