All work and no play…

I’ve not been posting much in the past week, partly because of our granddaughter being here, and partly because I was involved in playing in the first 3 large-scale performances of a new oratorio by a friend of mine, Andy Hague, called Christ Crucified. I was privileged to play lead guitar, classical guitar and bazouki (learned for the occasion) in a superb 7-piece  rhythm section that was part of a 40+-string orchestra accompanying a local choir of 60 or so.
Everyone I spoke to from the orchestra seemed to have played for the London Symphony Orchestra or the National Youth Orchestra, to have toured with the Royal Ballet, Fairport Convention or Graham Kendrick or whatever. “The acoustics in the Albert Hall are much better than they used to be when  I first played there.” Amazingly I didn’t louse up (easy to do when you’re asked to chuck heavy-metal solos, power chords or ethnic dance rhythms into a classical orchestra with earplugs).

Best of all the rather excellent sax and bass-clarinet player, an on-the-ball young chap of 83, turned out to have been in the audience of my very first “away” solo gig in Ipswich, Suffolk, back in 1971. It may take a day or two before I come down and am back in the mood for the serious business of science-faith issues!

About Jon Garvey

Training in medicine (which was my career), social psychology and theology. Interests in most things, but especially the science-faith interface. The rest of my time, though, is spent writing, playing and recording music.
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2 Responses to All work and no play…

  1. pngarrison says:

    You’re a blessed fellow, Jon. I can tell at a distance of 5000 mi or so. I happened on a jazz quartet of 80-somethings some years ago at a Christian retreat center where my dad’s best friend was doing the speaking for the weekend. There was one old guy who still played a pretty mean jazz clarinet – I asked him if he had ever been a pro. No, he said, the life of a music pro is just too hard. He had had a business in Dallas and played some clubs on the weekends. A talent for music must be a nice thing to have. A high school friend who moved back to town recently inspired me to pick up my guitar. I’ve succeeded in recalling my pseudo-jazz version of As Time Goes By, and a little Bach. Every piece I know is the product of wasting unbelievably stupid amounts of time figuring them out years ago. I confess I envy talent. 🙂

    • Jon Garvey says:

      Well – certainly music has a high joy content, when the others are that good. But in my experience, “talent” means spending an inordinately long time figuring out how to play stuff – that makes you talented by definition.

      Decades ago I got the idea of doing a guitar version of “Lullaby of Birdland” from hearing Al Stewart doing it. I warmed up with it at one of the gigs over the weekend and the old sax player took it up, leading to the only jam session we had. He’s now asked me to play on some other stuff, which is worrying as I used up all three of my jazz chords on that piece and will now have to plug a large gap in my playing. That’s what comes of wasting my youth as a folkie.

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