Friday, April 27, 2007


~:P O U R I N G • M U S I C:~

A painting I did in response to my relationship with God. About connectedness, spirituality and love. Some of my most warm childhood memories come from a child's perspective of a relationship with God. I took piano lessons for 10 years growing up. To help me feel less alone when carrying the burden of practicing 30 minutes a day, my mother would get up with me every morning and listen to me practice. I'd set the alarm for 6AM, wake her up and we'd both go downstairs to sit on the couch and pray. We'd pray together and when we finished, I'd go into the next room to practice. Mom would sit on the couch and listen to me. I knew she was there, in the next room. It helped to have an audience. To know I was not alone.

I thought of God the same way. Sitting next to me on the piano bench, quietly listening as I struggled to learn, to memorize and to pour emotion intuitively into the instrument.

Mom said it was wonderful to wake up to a house with music. I think it was wonderful to wake up to an audience every morning. I think my mother was smart and wise to do what she did. When I asked for a piano, she made me sign a contract that said I'd take lessons for at least 5 years. When I got sick of playing, when the novelty of the gift wore off and I'd wanted to quit, she pulled out the contract and remind me of my promise. It was written on a piece of paper and sat in a drawer to the left of the fridge. It was the biggest promise I ever kept as a child. I ended up taking lessons for 10 years and it's shaped me forever. In many good ways. I still play to this day. And when I do, I think of the contract. I think of Mom and the couch. I think of god sitting next to me. I think of Tommy listening. My grandfather listening. It is very much like the alter at church. That intersection of space and time.

Music connects us to the spiritual world. It pours through us - vibrates every cell in us, every cell of wood in violins, pianos, cellos. It sings and gives and brings pleasure. Makes you think. Expresses gratitude. Smiles to everyone.

7 comments:

minus five said...

your parents seem like such good people. it always makes me happy when people love their kids that much.

ads. said...

the music you like is the music that stirs your soul...the stuff that stays with you is the stuff you can FEEL. i have felt that often when a song will bring back a memory or even just watch someone play, good or bad, just really enjoy the experience of playing.
about 10 years ago i started listening to alot of blues and i loved it. todays blues is alright,and '50s chcago blues is great, but the stuff i really got a taste of for awhile--was that old 1930's gospel-type blues. those old crusty guys would play some secondhand guitar that they taught themselves to play and pluck away at it(usually alone)in such a manner that you couldn't help but feel it. sometimes i have seen video footage of SON HOUSE or or the like play, and i see the feeling they put into the music. technically sound guitar work, with crude and rough delivery of vocals with simple lyrics. yet oooh, what a sound, what a sight. they look just as i had heard it. like god was sitting next to them, filling in the background music in their head- that music directly from their soul. good stuff!!!

i know what you're saying, anne...i believe it without seeing...by what i feel when i read it. glad you stuck it out...good work mom.

Anne-Davnes said...

I love the way you put thoughts together, Ads. I know what you're saying - being entranced by music - that gritty and humble delivery of a very worthy thought. NO matter how low tech the instrument is - the delivery can be just as masterful as something you hear at the symphony. It all depends on the play between performer, instrument and audience.

I've had similar experiences watching jazz musicians play and feed off of each other. Doug and I saw Ellis Marsalis play in a trio at Snug Harbor in New Orleans. He was masterful. Teasing and baiting the bassist when it was his turn to take the lead. I loved it. Smiled and laughed and knew just what he was doing - and het met my eyes in the auduence and smiled back. All with sound. Sound muddies borders. Unites people.

Anne-Davnes said...

Oh! And thanks, Sarah. They are good people. Life would have turned out quite different without them.

Nancy said...

..and ours without you, Anne.

MCALDWELLC said...

that painting is beautiful!

Anne-Davnes said...

Tanks Mom! Tanks Mary!