I feel as though I have started really listening to what the universe is trying t tell me, and it has proven to guide me along some pretty profound paths recently that I have only just begun to travel. As one might expect, these paths are in the forests of my musical experience, yet both are incredibly unique to each other.
The first series of calls from the universe were essentially in the forms of opportunities that "fell into my lap." I use quotations because I'm not really sure if that ever really happens, but... I digress. The opportunities involved both my teaching of music and being a session musician for recordings. And there were multiple instances where these opportunities arose .... from presumably nowhere.
Now I have been having issues with the idea of session work for a while now, feeling as though my participation in these endeavors only prove to "feed the machine" that is the music industry, something I don't really care for in the least. However, I have been able to step beyond this rather crippling ideology, no matter how true it may seem, to realize that I have spent many, many years honing my musical craft, so why not take advantage of opportunities that utilize these skills doing what I love: playing music? (and strangely enough, I do really enjoy session work in the studio!)
And considering there are over 500 professional recording studios in Nashville, only 3rd in the US behind NYC and LA (and not all for country music thank god!) than it seems like a truly viable way to make money, connect with a music community, and ultimately do something that I am good at and enjoy (and isn't that the aim of any career?) So I am opening my world and pushing in the appropriate directions to see what comes of it all.
And with regards to teaching, I have one, potentially two trumpet students, without having looked for any! And I don't teach just trumpet... so I can't help but feel this is the universe asking me "what if you actually put some damned effort into it?!"
Now for the other musical path I am beginning to travel. The yang to my musical yin, or rather, my creative musical fulfillment.
It started when Ellen and I were in NYC a while back and I happened to see that one of my good friends (and easily one of the sickest musicians I know) had posted an invite to a gig he was playing at a bar called Nublu that night with Butch Morris and the Nublu Orchestra. Nublu is a club I had been to a number of times while living in NYC because a) it was literally only 3 blocks away from my apartment and b) it had some of the most fun, innovative, and truly badass music of anywhere in the city as far as I was concerned. So obviously, I had to go!
I had actually seen this ensemble once before and remembered begin moved by it. But that night I was moved in a way I don't think I have EVER been in my life. And I say that because although I enjoyed the music immensely and was incredibly inspired (as is often the case having experienced a wonderful show) this time a lot of puzzle pieces to my musical voice started really coming together, and I left the club that night feeling more purposeful than perhaps I've ever been. It was one of the few times I truly felt like I was merely a vessel, fulfilling a purpose I had been called to do. Dramatic, I know, but it's true.
So upon returning to Nashville, I immediately, and without hesitation, sent out emails to every musician in Nashville that I respected and felt might be interested in this new project. So, after countless hours of research and conceptualization, I've already had one rehearsal or "collective" as I like to call them with nine people, all of whom kicked ass, had fun, and seemed genuinely interested. And we already have the 2nd collective scheduled for next week, with musicians offering up their help and advice.
Now I am fully aware of course, that as purposeful and almost destined as this project may seem, I know it might not live as long I would hope. And I have come to terms with that. But to experience even the slightest glimmers of power the universe can show you, and to open yourself to that power, allowing your personal quest for bliss to convene with that which calls to you in the series of moments that make up your conscious (and unconscious) existence ... then you start to see traces of that light with burns as brightly as the center of our star and the essence of our souls.