Movin’ to a jazz thing

About 6 months ago I thought it would be healthy if I had a “real” outlet to express my creativity. I had been getting bogged down with routine challenges and showing some signs of burn out. This “real” outlet would be in contrast to creating product for the screen which, having the potential to create an emotive experience, does not always feel so tangible to me. Digital experiences lack a sense of permanence, they can disappear on whim, are too repeatable, and many seem far too attuned to peoples ever decreasing attention spans. When creating them you lose this tactile sensibility that you have when creating sculpture with your hands, finishing furniture, or breathing and struggling with a brass instrument.
Anyway that has been my thinking lately.
As a result I am very slowly beginning to become interested in playing and maybe performing music again. For over 15 years music defined everything that I was. I was a musician or more specifically a trumpet player – nothing else seemed to matter (almost nothing). Any conversations invariably led to what I was doing at the moment with music, or what gig I was on, or if I was even playing at all, all of which probably could partially be attributed to the fact that most of the people I knew were either other musicians or artists. I couldn’t take a holiday, seldom travelled, and would never take long absences from playing in fear of losing my “chops”. I can even remember in High School refusing to kiss my then girlfriend, who was lovely, as trumpet players always had the best looking girlfriends, in fear that somehow it would affect my playing the next day. This near obsessive behaviour undoubtedly produced the most joyous and perhaps the most creative period of my life. But I never did quite make it as an artist, for reasons too lengthy to get into here. So it stands to reason that it took a herculean effort to leave that life and start over first as a designer in a small team in Canada and then my current role here in Taiwan.
A few months a go at great expensive I had my instrument shipped to Taiwan. And it has sat there relatively undisturbed until I returned from holiday this week.
So far the experience of reintroducing myself to what I use to refer to as my “mistress” has been quite physically painful. I actually think I pulled a muscle in my ribs when I took a breath to play my first note. The brain remembers the sensation and required action but the body is old and out of shape.
Last night I video taped myself playing. I’ll not do that again. This introduced another kind of distress – emotional. My God I will never let any child of mine play the trumpet. The sound is glorious when played by a professional but give it to a beginner and its heart breaking. It broke my heart last night to hear what used to sound so fine come out like a the sound of bellowing cow. How could someone who would wake at 6am to play a studio engagement across town at 8am sound so infantile?
“How far the mighty can fall”.
I’ll keep at it in the hope of eventual progress. I hear there aren’t a lot trumpet players playing the karaoke bars in downtown Hsinchu – maybe I can brush up my rendition of “the stripper” and get those girls movin’ to a jazz thing.