Sometimes we have to leave home before reconnecting with it. I began playing the violin well before the handpan. Years later, the later helped me rediscover a secret home within myself, one I had long forgotten and tucked away — the merriment and musings that occur when we play.
to the root note.
to the epicenter
to an old friend.
So I did.
For two years, my exploration with the handpan had been reseeding thoughts of musical play into my psyche; many of which were taking a firm hold. During this period, I began to greet an old friend. However infrequent (read: every few months) I would open up a familiar case, tune a familiar instrument, and begin to play familiar songs…classical music, highlights from the old days, Minuet in G and others reminiscent of the years spent with Mrs. Mellado, Suzuki books and group lessons (foundations in musical conversation).
Every time the “old verses” came out, I knew I was not ready for the next step. They were not the sounds or songs I wanted to hear, so the old friend went back into the case, patiently waiting pending the removal of old stories, thoughts and songs. January 2018 was the first time I played the violin without an overly familiar structure. I remember laying on my back, stretching on the ground, violin awkwardly in air, playing sounds as sounds…and smiling. Something new now had space to begin.
A few months after, the final push to play again came in the form of two conversations months apart. A simple question, with a simple undertone, “Do you play any instruments?” It’s like asking how’s the weather, but on these days, in these moments, I finally understood the message.
As a sidenote: One of the conversations happened during Pantasia, a Handpan Gathering in Joshua Tree, California. Many (if not all) of the experiences I had this particular weekend encouraged me outside of my comfort zone…Baby steps further into evolutionary tides. Baby-steps including this one.