On Religion

I practice an arranged church tune like crazy this week, but by last night it still sounded like shit. So. Last night I decided to improvise on Amazing Grace instead, for this pianist position I’m applying for. I also practiced sightreading hymns all week, so I should be good with that. Sightreading the choir accompaniment will be harder, but I need to remind myself. If I don’t get this job, this interview will be a great learning opportunity regardless.

My religious background if they ask: my family is not religious – they haven’t been for generations. Recently, though, I have felt a personal connection to God when I play music. When I was improvising a song, I started singing about God and I surprised myself. The only time I’ve regularly gone to hurch was in Key West, Florida. I believe it was a Methodist Church, but I’m not sure (*FACT CHECK it was most definitely NOT Methodist. It was UCC). My heritage is Jewish, but only culturally.

My experience at churches: I enjoyed being a sub pianist at church because every church community was so welcoming and loving. I learned a lot from the warm way they took me under their wing, even for only a Sunday once in awhile.

I don’t know how to play organ yet, but I’m a fast learning and I have been wanting to learn. If I could come early or come on off-service days to learn the organ on my own time, I could probably learn it quickly.

I am worn down. I am feeling too scattered to do this right.


I’ll just do it wrong then, fuck it! I’ll just have fun with it. Bass and melody! Bass and melody is all you really need in life. Mainly just the melody! But bass can be helpful too.

I just need to treat it like a game. Just look ahead as much as possible, that shit actually works! And take it slow. Remember these people have all been young and nervous before, and they already like you. And you like you. So just have fun with it!

Later that night

Okay so the “bass and melody” idea kinda went out the window when I started playing the hymn. It was because I played it too fast and totally forgot to just read the bassline. Luckily, I came to my senses for the choral accompaniment, which I played like a boss.

Now I’m at Abilene watching That Band play. I think my toes have been bending in time with the beat without me realizing. I think My Musician Colleague is singing harmonies next to me! I like how much energy she has. I hope I have that kind of energy when I move past this period of life. I finally (I say finally but it’s only been since yesterday afternoon) sent an email to That Music School Director, asking her to clarify why the pay is so low, and seeing if I can teach at least 2 lessons each day – because it wouldn’t be monetarily feasible for me to drive there only for one lesson. Chris encouraged me to try to negotiate higher pay, while my Dad encouraged me to just work with the low pay.

Maybe the “working musician, never employer” talking versus the “employer of too many?”

Both times I’ve looked up, Chris has been looking at me. I actually feel at home right now, with Chris and the rest of the band playing music, with the lights down low at the bar. I’m still in my church audition clothes: my long black classical performance dress, my cool red-laced boots (which I’m so happy I wore – I need to learn to combine my “classical” vibes with my “me” vibe), and my cool two-layer jacket, striped, with the zipper and deep purple sweater material. I honestly like this outfit, though. I think it brings together those two parts of me in an elegant, surprising way.

Chris keeps looking at me over his cymbal and giving me little gifts: sweet smiles that make me feel so loved and so much love. I hope That Music School Director responds soon so I don’t have to obsessively check my email. OR I just don’t do that regardless. I won’t check my email tomorrow until after lunch. How about that!

*1 minute later*

I literally just took out my phone and went straight to my email.

It’s so good to hear actual music again! Not this 1960s modernist, minimalist, non-heart music. My soul feels shriveled when I hear that stuff. I need to be nurtured and I feel that from That Band’s music. I think this is a really special moment in Chris’ life because he is so fucking good and he is playing with less dedicated people. He hasn’t yet been scooped up yet by people who will do something huge and important with his inspiration. Except That Band is doing something important. They’re making me feel at home.

let the waves wash over me

I wonder if I’ll ever stop feeling overwhelming wonder when I watch Chris play the drums?
I hope not.
I hope it stays forever.

April 5, 2019

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