Music is a huge part of my life. I've been around it in one way or another for pretty much my whole life.
One of my fondest memories is from when I was about four of five years old. Picture the scene: I am sitting on the back deck of my childhood house. It's Sunday, just after brunch. My dad is sitting next to me, reading his paper. He laughs occasionally because I'm giving him curious stares. From inside, you can hear the faint sound of jazz playing. The screen door slides open and my two golden retreivers come running out. Everything is perfect.
That's where music takes me. It's funny, being a percussionist, because everyone says, "Oh, you just hit stuff. How hard can it be?" While it's true that you can just hit stuff, there is so much more to it than meets the eye. With percussion instruments, you are forced to be musical. That's what draws me. I'm a man who enjoys a good challenge, and transforming chemical energy in the brain to kinematic energy in the hands to sound and musical energy is not an easy feat.
One of my favorite musical quotes is by the legendary jazz pianist Bill Evans. He writes,
"There is a Japanese visual art in which the artist is forced to be spontaneous. He must paint on a thing stretched parchment with a special brush and black water paint in such a way that an unnatural or interrupted stroke will destroy the line or break through the parchment. Erasures or changes are impossible. These artists must practice a particular discipline, that of allowing the idea to express itself in communication with their hands in such a direct way that deliberation cannot interfere.
The resulting pictures lack the complex composition and textures of ordinary painting, but it is said that those who see well find something captures that escapes explanation.
The conviction that direct deed is the most meaningul reflections, I believe, has prompted the evolution of the extremely severe and unique disciplines of the jazz or improvising musician."
That's why I love music. It's so much more than just ink on a page. It's so much more than just notes in air. It's an art, and it's an art I want to experience as much as I can.