Thursday, January 08, 2004

I Try Harder (Second Best) part 1

Someone asked me to expound upon my music life. For those of you who know (or don't care) you may stop reading now.

For those of you still with me, here goes. I've been singing for as long as I can remember; no, really, it's true, I have. My parents always encouraged my singing aspirations by enrolling me in voice lessons, sending me to opera camp and supporting my affinity for musicals. However, when it came down to the wire as to what I wanted to be when I grew up, whenever I said, "A musician," my dad said, "That's nice. Now what do you really want to be?" From that time on, I took a more peripheral stance to my musical participation. I still tried out for and performed in musicals and musical groups, but it wasn't life and death, it was extra-curricular.

My sophomore year of college I tried out for a solo in choir and the director of the school's a cappella groups heard me and asked me to try out for the ladies' group, Tangled Up In Blue. Chris made many a concession for me with schedules and practice at first, but eventually my life became school, work and a cappella. We were recording a CD, on which I was blessed to have a solo.

Growing up I was never the lead in the musical and even though I usually had one of the solos in choir, I would have never dreamt of getting the "best" ones--I suppose I was kind of the Avis of the choral scene. Chris, Delee and Chris (our director, producer and engineer) made me feel like I actually had legitimate talent, and I suppose I do. I suppose if I didn't believe that I wouldn't be here in Nashville. After graduation I moved to Nashville, not necessarily to drop everything and become a rock star, but because I still wasn't sure I had what it takes. However, if I did, I figured I should be somewhere where something could actually happen.

At first, moving to Nashville was more disheartening than inspiring. I definitely had the sensation of being big fish from a small pond that's transplanted into an ocean next to a whale. For the past two years I have been inundated with music: good music, bad music, great music, mediocre music. I've seen shows that make me want to go home and write and shows that make me want to sit in silence for hours in hope of retaining that blissful memory as aurally sharp as possible for as long as possible.

It wasn't until I moved here that I realized my true motivation and inspiration for singing. I don't want to sing to make the world happy or to be popular. I want to sing and write in order to share my heart with my friends and family and whoever else happens to eavesdrop and care. I need to know that I will always be a musician, no matter what my occupation. Inversely, I needed to know that no matter what I'm doing musically, I am so much more than a voice (or a face, or a hand). I am not a segment. I am a whole.