"Without music, life would be a mistake." - Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols
I'm not a big Nietzsche person or pretend that I knew that quote before googling "what would life be like without music" but... I thought it summed it up nicely. What would life be like without music...it would be a mistake. It sounds cliche ...but...stop ( collaborate and listen )...for a second...and really do think about it.. music doesn't exist.... BAM!
Think about your day today. Where did music enter? Think about the last movie you saw ..imagine it without music. Think of the last wedding or night out at a club you were at... would people still dance? It's an interesting thought.. why is music so intertwined with our every day life?
My answer... and even if you don't notice it or even agree with me I think I'm still right... it's wordless emotion. Most people are historically bad at expressing themselves. We don't talk any more. We don't connect with our neighbours. We barely connect with our families and our friends. So wordless emotion goes a long way to fill those voids. and it's also historically cheaper and safer than crack or Lion taming. Lion food is expensive. True story.
Anyway... yadda yadda... we all need music. Music is important. Even or especially for someone who can't articulate that. Babies love music. Old forgotten people ( by general public, not their family members ) with dementia respond to music. Read this.. http://alzheimers.aplaceformom.com/articles/dementia-therapy-and-music ... but do come back here...
Music got me through my mother's disease and death ... the wordless emotion allowed me to figure it all out..mostly.
One of the offspinnings of all of that was over a year ago when I gave my old Yamaha BB300 bass away . I was hit like a tonne of really heavy heaviness with remembrance and realization of forgottenings surrounding my life of music. I was bursting at the seams with remembering music and love and my mother and her support of my music so much that I wanted to share it... I needed someone else to experience it.
The bass sat so long untouched and now it has life. That is cool.
And thanks to everything that transpired ( good from bad ) I have a life again in music ... I had forgotten it.. glaze-eyed over gigs and precious opportunities in my previous demi-decade. But I'm back. and I love every note I get to play in my insanely busy life. I have an equally insanely busy yet supportive ( at that time very pregnant ) wife that tolerated an incredibly busy musical autumn that I had. Thankfully... it filled me up.
Then in December I was so busy with new baby diaper changing and chasing our herd of kids that I neglected my Twitter account ( don't worry..this is going somewhere ). Fast forward to January of this year of the Snake ... ahem...anyway... I log onto twitter and see this message in my inbox:
Hi. Can you help me give my bass away like you did? A contest? I want to remain an anonymous donor. Thanks!
Well.... I was floored. So very very cool. The person wants to remain anonymous and I completely respect that.
We spoke over twitter and I found out a bit of their story... it's simple. Money isn't everything. But we all know it is when you really don't have it.
Basically, I have an acoustic bass that I barely used, I tried selling it but got no takers and then I was going to reduce the price. Then I thought well I could get $200 but $200 probably doesn't mean that much to me but it might mean a lot to someone who can't afford their own bass. And as you illustrated previously, the gift of music is priceless.
It's simple. and true. So here we go again... if you know someone that would benefit from the priceless gift of music...has a passion for the bass.... direct them to me.
Giving away my bass in 2011 wasn't all sunshine and rainbows. I learned a few things - some harsh. Some make me sound harsh and cynical but it is what it is.
- A number of people will contact me simply saying "I want your free bass" with no explanation.
- No - you need to deserve it and tell me why.
- A number of people will contact me pretending to be someone else with a fake story saying "I want your free bass"
- This isn't a "I'll leave the bass next to the bench at Victoria park and we never meet and I never hear from you again" type of deal. Given the nature of the blog, etc, this is a public-ish type of transaction. your story and desire need to be corroborated by someone ( preferably a teacher ).
- A number of people will contact me with probably a genuine story but are unwilling to meet or provide any names/schools etc and then tell me I'm a horrible excuse for a human being and a disgusting creep because I want to know more about their kids story.
- Ok.....you read the blog right? I said I didn't want to give it away to just anyone.. which implies that I need to get to know the person a little bit. I am not some creep trying to find out what school your kid goes to. I'm trying to give a bass away. Chill out. If you don't want to give out these details we won't be able to work things out. The whole point of this blog thing is to get the details out to a lot of people quickly.
- A number of people will contact me saying "My kid has a guitar, and a banjo, and plays in bands, and works at XXXX and I think they'd really like a bass too"
- See original comment regarding someone who doesn't already have a bass ( or 50 other instruments ).
I know that all sounds harsh. But the key is "someone who wants a bass but can't afford it". Giving my bass away the first time was actually really painful in a lot of ways as you can infer from my comments above. I was trying to do a nice thing.... and so is this person. I'm glad it all worked out in the end with my bass. Let's make this work too.
Honestly the easiest thing is to send in your story to me.. and give me a couple references...school teachers...someone at church.. that I can chat with and hear that yes.. this person really does deserve it and could definitely benefit from music. You know what I mean!
I'm honoured that I inspired someone else to do this... I'm happy to be the facilitator of this transaction. It is a most worthy cause. I hope more musicians consider doing this... no it doesn't need to be public or via a blog.. it can be asking around at work or church.. "do you know a kid that could use an old acoustic guitar?". You never know whose life you will change.
fyi it's an acoustic bass, like an acoustic guitar..not an upright bass. .. looks something like this:
With much love of music...