Well Hello Everybody!
How happy I am sitting here right now surrounded by boxes and boxes of CDs with my name on them!
Friends whose playing I love, who I have joyfully accompanied over the years, came together this summer and I got to choose the tunes (some traditional and some of my own compositions) and I got to be the melody person. Actually I am still backing up other lead-players for quite a lot of this recording, but it is with such a full heart because that is my most favorite thing to do – have some laughs with my friends and paint with pretty chord-colors.
I’ve always been a chord person. I remember being a very little kid and hearing an arrangement of “Silent Night.” I was mystified by the last verse because something in it changed that made me feel different. I puzzled over it for days and days because I couldn’t figure it out. The melody was the same yet something about it was NOT the same. It gradually occured to me that the notes surrounding the melody were the ones that had moved and I was a junkie for chords from that moment on.
To me there is no better feeling as an accompanist than when everything is going great and the melody player or singer is moved to reach higher in their own performance, when the dancers on the dance-floor do that thing where they all shout “Woo!”, or when an audience member is moved emotionally – even if like me with Silent Night he or she can’t quite put their finger on why something ‘feels different.’
But as an accompanist one sometimes feels anonymous. Your name is not the one in lights. People might remember the performance and the feeling it gave them, but they don’t remember the name of the supporting musician. Occasionally you get the feeling that the lead musicians take your efforts to elevate them for granted. But all of that is nothing compared to the joy of being able to do the thing that I love best in all the world for a living.
How fun it was over the summer being in studios in different areas and getting to play with some of my most favorite people in the world, some who I see often and some I haven’t played with in a very long time; musician friends from different parts of my life. It made me appreciate what a beautiful gift this music has been because of all the relationships I would not have had otherwise. It makes me want to encourage all of the young people I possibly can to take up an instrument -any instrument- and play some music -any music.
Thank you so much to the people who have supported and encouraged me over the years, the musicians who have added so much richness to my life, thank you SO much to the people who have given support to help make this album possible and thank you everyone who listens to this recording and let this chord person be in the lead! 🙂