Sunday, November 6, 2011


I picked up the trumpet in 8th grade. Back in high school, I played trumpet all four years in marching and symphonic band. I was lucky enough to take lessons from a first chair trumpeter in the Houston Symphony. It was quite an experience and in hindsight, I was incredibly lucky for those lessons. I recall him being extremely proud of me for perfecting a solo for one specific performance. Amisher, spit valve, chromatic scale... all these memories. The first song we learned in high school for marching band season was Day Tripper (he loved the Beatles). Our director was incredibly cool and quite jolly looking, but stern with keeping the beat. I picked up the guitar and taught myself in my later teens and stayed with piano, an instrument I started learning at a very young age. Piano... missing Saturday morning cartoons for years and years. Hating the long drive to Mrs. Cote's house and the practicing... oh the practicing. My sister of course being older than me was more talented, and I a tad more jealous. She would not even share some of her music with me for some time... as if she did not want me learning those songs. Moonlight Sonata was hers, Minute Waltz was mine. Fur Elise was fair game. Nadia would wake up, sleepwalk and play the piano, our mother reminds us from time to time. Interesting and freakish.

Last night, I went to go to see the Oregon Symphony perform Mozart's Jupiter. I really did not want to miss this performance. The Arlene Schnitzer Hall itself is worth visiting, but this was quite an experience. I arrived in time to quickly drink a 10.00 glass of wine and made my way to the upper balcony. A few open seats, and quite a few attending solo like myself, but otherwise fairly full.

My Mother would take my sister and I every year to see the Nutcracker back in Houston. It was a tradition and of course better appreciated now than then. I recognized these memories last night and was truly touched by the performance. I don't know if it is my experience of tour managing and the biz that has burned me out of listening and being excited about new music, but a symphony is big stuff! This was real music. Real intricate, complicated music.... and I just don't hear it now. Watching all the sections last night though, the strings, the brass, the percussion, just brought some excitement back. How some players express more than others with their body language, the conductor truly getting off on it all. So many instruments I still would love to learn (the cello especially), but already learning German, Chinese Medicine, maintaining exercise routine and beginning a running clinic, painting, piano, social life, sleep... well the time is not there clearly. Albeit, there is no excuse for not attending more performances as opposed to meeting those who would rather see a crap band (or subpar mediocre band that sounds like everyone else) and drink beer. I am getting old.

I had random thoughts of trying to sneak backstage just for kicks. I ponder just how easy it would be for me. Then I thought about my plan for Rockupuncture and wanting to treat my old clients and new ones in the music business, and how I could treat these players! That is more people per stage and talk about violinists having neck tension and those lower backs from sitting? So perhaps I should also by the domain name, 'Symphonupuncture'? It just does not have the same ring to it.

I realized I needed last night. The stress and intensity and constant bombardment of tests with school, the potential opportunity of working next year whilst in school, the holidays coming up, money woes and exactly how I am going to launch my practice when I graduate. Where am I going to go? Technically after this quarter, I will be halfway through the program and that is scary and exciting at the same time. Time is flying, things are making sense as far as understanding the medicine. I am becoming a practitioner and will have over 100,000 smackers in student loans and that does not even include the Doctoral program (if I pursue that afterwards). Fantastic sensationalism. Reality. So being able to escape and listen to the sounds of Mozart allowed a few hours to just be and appreciate that somewhere out there, I still do really love everything about music.

'Leaves are fallin' all around, time I was on my way
Thanks to you, I'm much obliged for such a pleasant stay
but now its time for me to go, the autumn moon lights my way...'

Ramble On - Led Zeppelin