I think I better lighten up the mood a bit here today. Enough gloom and doom economic and political prognostications in this blog of mine, at least for a day or two. Today, I'm going to write about things that please me. Boring, I know, but there is a lot of good in this world of ours, alongside the stupidity and evil we see every day, so sometimes we just have to settle back and enjoy the good things in life.
I jam once a week or so with another guy about my age. We've been doing this now for a couple of months. We get together in my music room at home, unpack our guitars, and forget about everything else except our music for a couple of hours. Things seemed to click more so than usual this week. We sounded pretty darn good. Because neither of us play from notes and basically just follow each other's lead, depending on whose musical choice we are using that night, it took us a few weeks to get a feel for the playing style of each other and to be able to anticipate what each is going to do next. We appear to have reached that stage and I'm enjoying the experience.
What music do we play? My friend has written some songs and some snippets that may grow up to become songs one day, and we work on them sometimes. Sometimes, he will simply lay down some background chord progressions and I will improvise to them, sort of a jazz/blues mixture. We also do a lot of old (really old) material, my versions of things like Makin' Whoopee, Lover Come Back, Birth of the Blues, and other stuff dating back to the first half of the twentieth century. They don't make melodies like those any more.
Some of the best music ever came from very stressful periods in our history, like during the two world wars in the last century. That should be no surprise, because while it is difficult to pour out our hurt and frustrations to others directly, if we wrap those same feelings in music or poetry, it is somehow okay. Music allows us to express ourselves. It also allows us to lose ourselves in the beauty of well-crafted lyrics, or more importantly (to me, anyway) beautiful melodies and harmonies.
I have written some songs too, but I am saving them for future sessions. Right now, we have plenty of material to work on.
I realized not long ago that some of the things I have enjoyed doing over the years have not gotten much attention from me lately. Photography, for example, is something I have neglected. I used to take a lot of photographs and even developed black and white photographs myself. Now, with digital photography as easy as it is, and no messy chemicals to worry about, I should be taking a lot more photographs. I should be reading more too. I already read a lot, but it is mostly about investing, economics, politics, practical stuff, and I miss reading purely for pleasure. Gotta try to squeeze that in somehow.
It all boils down to one thing: not enough hours in the day, doesn't it? Perhaps, I'm just very inefficient in the intelligent and productive use of my time. I'll have to work on that. Perhaps the first item should be . . . no more naps. I wonder how long I would be able to keep that up.