I am not a brilliant musician - I have none of the ability to play in the fine felt way my son plays his guitar. But I love to play; at the moment it is an acoustic bass - an instrument that gives me joy just standing there in its maple-wood beauty.
When I pick it up, I love the weight of it, the curve of it, the way it fits across my body, and when I touch the thick, heavy strings, I love the voice that comes. Not my own voice, but somehow from me. I love the patterns I make, patterns that weave with other patterns creating an astonishing texture that is rhythm and sound, and something more that it's hard to put a finger on. In becoming part of a piece of music, I slough off my life - its anxieties and concerns and busyness - and I am 'other' at the same time as I am deeply myself. The best self. Unburdened.
In this TED piece, violinist Robert Gupta talks about the genius schizophrenic musician Nathaniel Ayers (whose life was portrayed in the movie The Soloist), and how he saw in this man's eyes the redemptive power of music; and how that look reminds him why he first came to music, and continues to play. Below the TED vid. is the most exquisite piece: Gupta playing 'Passacaglia' with cellist Joshua Roman. This is about the connection between two musicians released from their skins and meeting somewhere in between that is ... celestial.