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Monday, March 10, 2014

What It Really Is About

I am working ´in´ music. I teach about it. I talk about it. I write about it. I talk about teaching it. I write about teaching it. I teach about writing about it. I talk about writing about it. I teach about talking to write about it. Et cetera, ad infinitum, and sometimes ad nauseam (all this Latin to show that I am ´not from the street´, as we say in Dutch, or, ´reversely´, that I have ´street credibility´ in doing it).

And then, of course - talking about street credibility - I play it and I sing it.

But the secret of music lies not in the hands that move the pen or pluck the strings, nor in the mouth that sings the songs or speaks the words.

The secret lies in the ears that hear, and in the soul being moved.

At times, I become so tired with those hands and this mouth. It is all so haphazard, so unfruitful, so futile. I might as well do something else - I might be better off, and so might the rest of the world.

But then I return from a rehearsal of my beloved shanty choir. I sit in the car, I put on the stereo and I listen to Dave Rawlings' 'Bells of Harlem'. And I am dumbstruck with what the sounds of music continue to do to me. They uplift me, up to the point of annihilation.

And I realize that after all, there is probably nothing else I am supposed to do than to play it, sing it, speak about it, write about it, teach about it; if only to honor the listening to it.

So, let the dance continue.

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