Okay, it’s not the end of an era (after all, the big band era has come and gone) but it is the end of the musical season.
Atlin was great fun (read and see more at Michael’s blog) and The Big Band played an absolutely amazing one-hour set. I can’t say enough about the professionalism of the technical crew there; it’s the first time I’ve ever played with the band and been able to hear every other part, including myself, and, wow, it’s amazing how much easier it is for everyone to play together when we can all hear each other! (Kudos to Omni Productions!)
This gig was the band’s last time playing together until rehearsals resume in September, and it was a terrific way to end the season. The sad part is I didn’t enjoy it as fully as I should have. I had a shadow hanging over me the entire time because although things were going great at the keyboard — I have learned sooo much this year! — what I really wanted was to be singing. I had actually asked to do one or two tunes, but our singer wanted to do this gig herself. I can’t really blame her. She’s a music teacher and spends most of her life encouraging others to develop themselves, to perform, and to shine; being the singer for The Big Band is where she gets to do her thing. (Well, that’s my theory, anyway.) But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t sorely disappointed. I admit that I cried a little. Then I told myself that I would be exactly as upset as I chose to be. Which sort of worked. It is such hard work suppressing the diva in me.
Seeing other performers at the festival made me realize that if I want to find a place to sing, I’m going to have to look for other musicians to play with. I’m not yet sure how to go about doing that, and really the timing’s all wrong, since a few short months from now my life will be all wrapped up with propping my eyelids open enough to pay attention to Jade while snatching bits of sleep in between Nugget feedings. (I know, I make it sound so appealing, don’t I? I really am looking forward to it, honest. Just not the sleep-deprivation part.)
A few months ago, Kim Beggs asked me what my goal was for my music, and I couldn’t answer her. It’s something I do for fun, but, like a drug addict, it seems I want to do more and more. I don’t (yet?!) have the confidence in my song-writing to really promote myself as a singer-songwriter, but I do think that I’d learn a lot by working with and playing with other songwriters. I also know that while I wouldn’t mind doing the festival circuit (a path I had started down in the NWT) I don’t see myself doing the hard work of touring around the country, let alone travelling further. Being a mom is still the more important job these days. So I’m starting to get a fuzzy idea of some musical goals that would fit me. Wouldn’t it be great if two years from now I could perform with a few other musicians as a singer-songwriter at the Atlin Festival? Depending on your perspective, this could be a scarily lofty or laughably small goal… but either way I know it sure would be fun!
In the meantime, I’m going to miss Big Band rehearsals. I can mentally go down the list of members and smile to myself at each name, thinking of this one’s soft-spoken warmth or that one’s caustic humour; corny as it sounds, The Big Band feels like family. I’m not sure whether I’m going to join in on the rehearsals again in September; it will depend on how things are going with the pregnancy and with Jade, and whether there are any gigs to practice for before Nugget’s introduction to the world.
Is it wonder that despite the fabulous music, playing in Atlin left me feeling just a wee bit melancholy?