Another in the shorties series, this one inspired by my wonderful mum Roslyn Langlois.
I had a skype recently with my folks. I wanted to hear all about the concert she recently did. One of the musical ventures she is involved in right now is being the music director of the Bagdad Community Singers, a choral group out of the town of Bagdad in Tasmania. Mum music directs, and accompanies, and conducts from the piano.
She’s had that skill as long as I’ve been alive. It is amazing to watch. Mum was my accompanist growing up while also being my teacher and mentor. She’s the best to perform with. She is rock solid – will be right with you even if you miss a bar…or a page – while also being incredibly musical and simply a joy to create music with. Needless to say, all my fellow music students were very jealous of my accompanist.
Anyway, back to the story.
Mum told me all about the concert: how well it was received, the challenges she personally had and the ensemble had preparing for the concert, how she felt on the day. To be honest I was exhausted just hearing about it. I have been involved in many concerts during my time. They are so involved, even the simpler ones. Mum (and Dad) know this. They have decades of experiences of musical performances. Yet they go for it. In their 70s, with their own set of personal obstacles, they go for it.
Then mum told me how the Festival of Voices is coming up in Tassie. Another great choral festival mum likes to participate in every year as a singer. She said she was joining a different ensemble this year. She was excited because it was something new, different challenges, a new direction for her. She was excited about what she would learn from the experience.
After the skype call I was left feeling so inspired by mum (not a new feeling, she’s been doing that my whole life). Now in her mid 70s she is still LOVING being an active musician, even though it is so much work, and she is still eager for opportunities to learn, grow and expand. She loves music. It brings her joy and she revels in it.
The majority of the readers of this blog are professional working composers and musicians. There are many obstacles that we all have to overcome to stay in this industry. It is often exhausting, disappointing, and just really freaking hard. There are weird politics. There are challenging clients. There are heartbreaks. Failures. And sometimes you can just feel so tired and disheartened. Had moments like that just this last week.
But then I also had Wednesday. Started the day by completing a really fun video game track composed for The Endless Mission which was then enthusiastically approved by the developer. I had to go downtown to attend an orchestral rehearsal by MUSE/IQUE to hear Miriam Cutler‘s piece Ethel which I had helped orchestrate. I took the metro down and was so thrilled to encounter my mate Fleece Kawasaki busking on my train – love his music. Then I was able to hear MUSE/IQUE rehearse, conducted by Artistic director Rachael Worby – they sounded amazing. In addition to a fantastic run of Miriam’s piece, they rehearsed a number of John Williams’ pieces and Peter Golub‘s beautiful work Sleepwalking. I was able to read the scores while listening to these works.
What a day. What an amazing day of music. It is so important to remember how good this is. Remember the love, the joy, the privilege we have to be able to do this. Everything I said two paragraphs ago is true. But I love this. I want to keep growing and learning and enjoying the music life. And hopefully I will be lucky and blessed enough to be still doing this when I am my mum’s age. How great would that be?