Sometimes an idea comes so clearly, arriving as an impulse which seemingly knows the easiest way to bring itself to life.
Orchestral Manoeuvres in The Park was that kind of project. I was the white gloved traffic officer, conducting a flow of vehicles in a steady stream, no burst radiators or flat tyres, just a whole line of finely tuned musicians all enjoying the journey.
Favourite moments? First rehearsal with the string quartet and hearing Jarrod Bakker’s arrangements no longer as midi files but as living breathing parts with heart and soul. Exploring the full depth and breadth of my songs and finally realising their potential thanks to the musicians and the production quality. Sharing the stage with friends and an audience who came to listen – it doesn’t get much better than that.
Looking ahead I hope we get the opportunity to perform this again sometime. Music builds something in ourselves and creates communities through shared moments, which although ephemeral link us to the ongoing, ever present and eternal.
But for now, it’s a wrap!
“Quit all that looking back” Gregory Alan Isakov.
Through the looking glass I peer – liquid is swirled and reflection is made, pondering the year almost complete. Time and again it comes to this – honest reflection of what is. Can be the hardest place to go: what’s working and what isn’t. Brutal honesty cuts through pretty quickly but there needs to be a readiness to receive and sometimes I’m just not. It’s like stretching a muscle in yoga class – approach it with too much force and rather than letting go the muscle retracts, grips, holds on even tighter. Maybe that’s when the tribe gathers – bringing the teacher, listener, friend, the one who is able to soothe the body or heart into a space of being able to see. That gentle healing touch, opening up the cracks to let the old out and the new flow in.
Getting to know yourself without taking yourself too seriously. Reaching for perfection in your craft knowing you’ll never reach it. Having goals but not being attached to outcomes. Learning to inhale. Learning to exhale.
Orchestral Maneouvres in The Park embodies all this. It feels like an exciting project – it’s about community, taking risks, allowing muck ups, being on the edge. It has brought some amazing people together from very diverse backgrounds to play music and get to the heart of some my songs, reaching for their pulse and bringing them to life in a new and beautiful way.
Coming up January 13, 2019. More details.