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.

 
 

Performance with    Davide Friello    at    HangOut UK    in Sept 2018.

Performance with Davide Friello at HangOut UK in Sept 2018.

 

Go home.

Go home
to the root note.

Go home
to the epicenter
of expression.

Say hello…
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.