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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Feeling Known

I went to regional radio station Radio Westerwolde in the east of the province to be interviewed about music for an hour on Tuesday last week. I had visited the same programme on the radio station (entirely run by volunteers) a couple of years earlier, and was happy to find myself back again with Wilma and Herman in their programme for the 50+ listener - this time I just made it into the target group, so that already made me feel at home, as did warm and welcoming technician Peter

But what made me feel at home even more was the fact that Herman and Wilma had really taken the time to find out about me. They read my blog, my website, my other blog; they had devised a range of questions on topics they knew I would find interesting; and the music choice in their programme was entirely based upon the topics I wrote about. So they played the Beatles, Bob Dylan, shanty, Dolly Parton. And in the end they read a poem they had miraculously found somewhere which so precisely matched the interview that I asked innocently if they had written it themselves.

I felt recognized.

A couple of weeks earlier, we had a home concert featuring Danny Schmidt and Carrie Elkin. They sang two sets, and afterwards we had a homecooked meal with musicians and audience. Danny's song with the line "When I die, let them judge me by my company of friends" matched the occasion perfectly.

Before starting the concert, Danny asked if I had any songs I would like to hear. I asked him if it would be possible to play "This Too Shall Pass" (with its great first line "Things change fast, but this too shall pass - better carve it on your forehead or tattoo it on your ass") and "Stained Glass" (which is a great piece of poetry; and how I like lines such as "It was thirty days till Easter when the elm tree hit the church/Thank God it fell on Friday cause at least no one was hurt"). Which he did. And at the end of the concert they played a Bob Dylan song as an encore because, as Danny remarked, there were Dylan CDs and books about Dylan all over the place.

I felt recognized.

And I pondered how easy it is to make me feel recognized. Just connect, in some way or other, to my musical biography and I'll be happy.

Just to let you know what to do in order to count me in as your audience member.

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