I write this little blog post in the sitting room of my new-to-me house in Tacoma, WA - a massive green house in North Tacoma shared with 8 other close friends. It's so fantastic. I've been lost in the beauty of having a normal schedule with work and students and rehearsals and "family" dinners. I have truly missed all of that in these past couple of months. So please forgive me for being so blog-absent recently.
My Hometown Debut
This past weekend I was honored to join Adam Levy (singer/songwriter & collaborator with Norah Jones, Tracy Chapman, et al.) for Immanuel Presbyterian Church's Blues Vespers and a house show the night before.
Adam and I met for the first time on Saturday afternoon, had lunch, and then shared a few tunes with each other in my music studio before playing a house show together that evening. I cannot emphasize enough, how awesome it is to play and improvise with not only a phenomenal songwriter, but also a phenomenal listener and player of music. Sheesh.
I was a wee bit nervous when I realized on Sunday morning that that evening was to be my singer/songwriter debut in my hometown. It hit me that I had never played my own songs in my own hometown. *noob alert*
On Sunday Evening at Blues Vespers,Adam and I took turns playing songs for the audience. It was really a beautiful series of moments shared between us all. I got to share 4 songs I wrote while at my Artist Residency at the Grünewald Guild. & Adam's songs are my favorite kind of songs - stories. :-)
Now, a standing ovation is so awesome. Audiences are NOT required to do that, by any means... but this audience's standing ovation did not help my performance remorse about 3 hours later. (Is that even a thing?!)
There was a moment when I was back at home after the concert, I hit me like a ton of bricks. I could never take back what had just happened that evening. Those songs and what I contributed to the evening was forever engrained in our audiences' memory bank.
It's a pretty magical thing to play songs to an audience for the first time, but's also way more terrifying than I had anticipated.
It's terrifying to think about letting these songs "go off on their own" by performing them publicly. I've heard many songwriters speak of their songs as having a life of its own - the songs end up blending, growing, molding, and adjusting to the surroundings and those audiences/friends/strangers that choose to play them. I guess it's good practice for the controlling side of me. Let it go, Emily. Let it go. Eh? eh? ;-)
& before Sunday night, it would have been easy for me to not call myself a singer/songwriter, and keep myself in the collaborator corner...
But there is no turning back now.
And I'm so glad for that.
[BIG thank you's go to Adam, Rev. Dave Brown, The Warehouse, and the audiences from this weekend. All such beautiful humans. Thank you! Thank you!]