Saturday, March 12, 2011

Close to Heaven

We saw the California Guitar Trio in a beautiful church in Frederick, Maryland last night.  I have lost track of how many times I have heard them play over the years, both on tour and during Guitar Craft Courses.  Each time I experience them live is a unique communion with the creative spirit.  This is not going to be a review of their show, the quality of their musicianship, nor the depth & range of the music they play. In a word, they are astounding.  Rather this will be a reflection of where the CGT took me.

One factor that was unique for me last night was that this was the first time that my daughter-in-law and granddaughter were with me at a CGT performance.  I had no concern whether they would enjoy the show, as I know the ability of the trio to delight a very diverse musical audience.  I was aware that as a ten year old, my granddaughter would be challenged by 90 minutes of unfamiliar music.  I'm certain she has heard some of their recordings, because of my own listening; but she is developing her own musical aesthetic at this point.  This is precisely why I wanted her to see and hear these three wonderful guitarists live.

Her attention was riveted during the first few pieces, the power and presence of Paul, Bert, & Hideyo put a sparkle in her eye.  Then she began to tire, sitting still on a Friday night, close to bed time.  A church pew, surrounded by thunderous & glorious sounds, does not make for an ideal bed, so I held her.  As she curled towards me, with the swirls of magic emanating from the trio's guitars, I was very close to heaven.  Love and tenderness of family, friends, music, and musicians filled my heart with joy. During their rendition of Pink Floyd's Echoes, she began to listen again; soon her body responding to the music.  During Classical Gas I realized I was around her age when I first heard this piece by Mason Williams.  As Bach's Tocatto & Fugue filled this hallowed space,  I was deeply touched with love, gratitude, and happiness for all that Guitar Craft has brought into our troubled world. 

In the presence of music, we were all able to let go of our concerns for an evening.  Revived and nourished by music, I am a better man this morning.  Wishing that my granddaughter's relationship with music continues to grow and flourish, and for us all to touch the present moment of the creative process.  My deep thanks to Paul, Bert, and Hideyo for continuing to challenge themselves to grow musically, and endure the hardships of the touring musician, to share their work with audiences.

1 comment:

  1. Some powerful sound healing for all of you and for your relationship. What a beautiful portrait. Funny, I first read your fb post as saying you held your grandfather and I didn't even question how it would be possible due to ages, only where you would be that you'd be holding him AND listening to the CGT. So maybe you were doing that too in some way.

    While you were listening to CGT, I was listening to Hot Tuna (Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady) along with Charlie Musselwhite and Jim Lauderdale.

    I was disappointed at the lack of passion. Jack was fun to watch though. Charlie is fully present. Overall, lackluster concert. People left midway and many left before the encore (which is when they actually started warming up, to my view). I thought perhaps they should have jammed all afternoon to be ready for the concert.

    Thanks for this touching and tender story.