Thursday, May 23, 2013

I Strike Out For The Mighty Caseys

Tanya And Dorise In Perfect Haromony In Thinking: "What the...?"
And So, the morning of the big day arrived and I woke up and sat under the stand of cedar trees; thinking that I would go across the river and walk the 3 miles to The Music Exchange to buy some new strings, saving a couple bucks for my efforts.
Then, it started to rain lightly.
I thought about the holes in my sneakers and the soaking wet socks which I would have to deal with; and I remembered Tanyas message of "Let me know if you need a ride to Guitar Center, or wherever..." and I considered messaging her on Facebook at this library.
Then, I thought that I would have to wait for a reply; not knowing how frequenly she checks that site, I wouldn't know how long to wait...
Then I considered that she might be in a position where it might inconvenience her to give me a ride; but that out of kindness, she might acquiesce, but then harbour regrets.
I Try To Remain Sober
I went across the river after making yesterdays post, and went to the Unique Boutique for a beer.
I was actually kind of nervous about the upcoming evening, not knowing exactly what to expect; and consumed a second beer, while telling that voice in my head to "shut up!"
The voice was saying things like: "Your going to be so plastered by 8 o' clock that you will walk into Caseys; trip and fall face-first on Tanyas violin and then puke on Dorises boots."
A third beer would drown that voice...
It is important to me that Tanya and Dorise (or anyone for that matter) at least respect me as an artist of some kind; and I couldn't help thinking how magical it could be if I was able to be entertaining at the minimum; that evening; and somehow show that musicians can be on par with each other; despite disparaging "talent" levels.
I've heard musicians play very complex and interesting music, and then lament to me: "I wish I could write a song; like you..." or classical musicians who play french horn with a symphony but have Willie Nelson in their CD deck...so, I was optimistic about being able to do something entertaining, which didn't have to be a showpiece of virtuosity....
Musings On Virtuosity
I often wonder what it would have been like; when I was 6; to have had a violin presented to me and to have been introduced to whom was going to be my teacher; and, possibly, to have been made to practice until such a point that I had mastered the lesson; before I could go and do what I wanted to do, like eat dinner.
I think I would learn all the necessary shortcuts to mastering a technical excersize; and I would probably come quickly to the realisation that abject repetition and focusing energy into a consorted effort (i.e. practicing hard) was the only real way to go.
I wonder what it would have been like to play for hours each evening when I was 7 or 8, or 9 and my bones were still growing and my brain developing...
I probably would have grown into a music producing creature; my body would have adapted to the load which I was putting on it each day....my brain would have grown neuro synapses (or something that sounds equally valid) and I, in effect would be more like Tanya Huang.
Or maybe playing the violin would become my form of dissociation from the world; and I would only feel really comfortable while playing; and awkward otherwise...
But, myself, I have practiced away the same hours in the realm of thought and imagination (practicing in my head) and my goal for the evening was actually that we all could collaborate somehow; perhaps with myself inventing a song on the fly; and then Tanya and Dorise discovering that it was a lot of fun to join in on...

A Man That Can Tune
It was around this time that I ran into Brian Hudson; who was playing "American Tune," by Paul Simon, across the street from Rouses Market (in a bathrobe! -just kiddin' lol!)
"Hmm, I remember Dorise telling me that she would never play inside anywhere because none of them could pay her enough," he mused after I told him of my destination for that evening.
"I think one (or both) of them is a friend of the owner...the guy just came here from Orlando and is just starting up his business...what a 'shot in the arm' it must be to have Tanya and Dorise play there each week..."
I got to the club right around 8 p.m.
At first, I didn't recognize the place and was looking for the sign overhead, but then spotted Dorise inside.
The whole front of the place opens to the street, giving it a cavernous appearance; and they had moved some tables and things around to clear a stage area; where sat Tanya.
"How are you doing, Daniel, do you want a drink?"
...yes, that's why I didn't have another one on my way here...
Tanya bought me a glass of gin, which must have cost a fortune, as the choices I were given were all top shelf kind of stuff. I got the Beefeaters...
Then, they prepared to play.
They had a tip bucket (not basket) and a few of each of their CDs displayed near it.
Tanya actually spoke into the mike, welcoming all to Caseys; and stating that they would take requests. It was the first time I had ever heard her speak to an audience...
There were only a dozen or so patrons there on this Wednesday night; which is probably par for the course on that "slow" night.
It was strange, first of all, hearing "the quiet one" doing the talking; and strange second of all to see them playing to such a small crowd not seeing people drawn like moths to a flame, engulfing them, as they do on Royal Street.
There just weren't many people walking that stretch of Decatur Street; at the time, and they seem to be relying upon word of mouth to promote their gigs there.
Musically, it was interesting. They both played brilliantly and it was nice to hear them without the sounds of motorcycles starting and brass bands marching by...
They had a guest singer; a female who sang jazz; and who was just a great singer of the Ella Fitzgerald ilk; in my humble opinion. I need to get the names of these performers so I can give them credit...
At one point, Tanya seemed to be making eyes at someone who was behind me and to my right.
It took a Herculean effort for me to not turn to see whom it was she was smiling at.
Then, Dorise told me to go up and play.
She said that I could either sing, play her guitar with Tanya, or I could play my own guitar with both of them, or just Tanya; whatever.
I decided to tune to them during their next song by pressing my ear to the body of my guitar and grabbing the notes.
My hope was actually to jam on something with Dorise picking out the chords, myself possibly trading melodies (like she would play a run of notes and I would try to approximate them and vice-versa) with Tanya. and there would be a "musical conversation," if you will.
In a perfect world, that would have happened.
.
What happened was; I opted to play my guitar; which I had tuned during that last song.
Dorise sat out.
"Just do what you do," she said before walking off..
What I "do" is play without the benefit of a violinist. .
I began to play the 3 chord chorus from "Eyes Of The World," by the Grateful Dead.
I guess Grateful Dead music is as foreign to a Chinese classicaly trained violinist as it gets.
I broke away from chord playing to play a melody; and that is when things slowly fell apart.
I don't think she pulls music out of thin air like myself (nothing "random" about her approach); and we weren't pulling any. She stopped playing at one point, and just looked at me..
"We need to do something with more 'form' she said; as I was leaving for the ferry...
And that is how is stands.

2 comments:

Alex said...

Somehow my comment didn't post.

What was that song you did, you imitated some female singer, that Tanya loves, and really hit it off with Tanya? This would be a few weeks or a month or two back?

You should pre-plan with Tanya, and see if you can play with them at Casey's again.

Daniel McKenna said...

Love Takes Time by Mariah Carey...
I think I am invited back; but they haven't said which day yet (wed or thurs) ...I am about to delete the stuff about the cajon drummer because "someone close to the source" said that he actually IS her boyfriend...they don't show it in public because "the girl so devoted to her music that she doesn't even have time for a relationship" just adds to her mystique, I think (and millionaires probably come along and throw her multiple 100 dollar bill tips and say; This is for you; regardless of weather or not you chose to sail the world with me on my yacht and be my little songbird...) and having a dude hanging around smooching on her in between songs wouldn't be professional either....