Mid-August, I am deep in edits and rewrites of How to Be an Adult, which I hope to publish as an ebook sometime this fall. Today, though, I am working on a much grander piece: a play to be performed by my kids and their five cousins on the occasion of my father’s 70th birthday. We’re decamping to the Adirondacks for high merriment (and some required golf, tennis and hiking.) The play is about a School for Wizardry, Music and Mountaineering called Nieldsworts, and the hero is a grandfatherly character named Granddaddydore. Each of the kids is possessed with a magic instrument (drum, guitar, violin, maraca, etc.) Abigail (our sister who is an actor) will play Granddaddydore, Katryna will be the narrator, the kids will be themselves (only with Potteresque names like Ginny Reesely and Liley Granger and the highly original Johnny Harry Potter and the actually brilliant Ementor). I am going to direct, which means there will probably be lots of fights.
Falcon Ridge seems eons ago. I intended to write a long piece on how great it was, how brave the folks who prevail against the almost inevitable bad weather, and how the whole festival never fails to energize me for the rest of the year, inspire me with new musical ideas, remind me how much I love to play with a band. So even though the actual weekend is now firmly in my rear view mirror, it has left me with a resolve to deepen my musical practice. To wit:
-I’m taking voice lessons with a 78 year old amazing voice teacher in Amherst
-I’m about to start taking guitar lessons, with the goal being to learn the entire Beatles catalog
-I’m thinking about our next big musical project (Katryna, as usual, is full of big ideas)
-We’re planning to play the Iron Horse on Oct. 13 with our CrackerJack band. If we could, I’d play monthly with the band. There’s nothing, NOTHING like being with those guys to fill me with joy.
In fact, it makes me wonder why we stopped. Then I remember. It cost too much. Too much time, too much sanity, too much gas, too much summer, too much views of highways, too much smelly rock clubs and shows that started at 11pm. Not enough early mornings looking out at my own garden.
Part of me wants to just let the music and the touring life consume me, use me up. And part of me hears my daughter practicing her violin. She is playing Two Grenadiers by Schumann right now. I can hear her wade through the difficult middle section, and when she gets to the phrases from the French National Anthem, she blasts through, playing it three times too fast. Don’t we all?