Traveling music

Beta and I went to Galway about ten years ago (it was in October) to see a man about a harp, beginning what we did not know at the time would be a series of travels in the name of music. At the time, bad tin whistle was the limit of my own musical experiences, and I had no plans to change that.

The first trip went well. We bought an Irish harp, we made friends in Dublin, Beta, although only eight at the time managed the following day to guide her massively hungover father through a transfer at Zurich airport where I thought I’d lost my ticket and we got home safe, harp, bodhran, and all.

In the ten years since then we have been to workshops around Austria and to a couple orchestra camps. It was often a thing just the two of us did, and I enjoyed it. Encouraged by her great joy with the harp, I took up cello, with less success but just as much joy. Somehow I even ended up composing music.

This evening we will leave for what I think will be our last orchestra camp (our trajectories are taking us elsewhere, I guess). We will play a concert on Sunday, and then three more in the coming weeks. She will sound beautiful on the harp, I will sit as far back in the cello section as I am able and play some of the songs (more than last year), pantomime others.

Sometimes you only realize later that something you do is for the last time – carrying your kid around on your shoulders, visiting a certain place, giving a big guy the finger in traffic. This weekend, though, I will be aware of it every second, and paying attention.

13 responses to “Traveling music

  1. Goddammit, Mig, stop making me cry.

  2. mig

    nothing like a hangover story to bring a tear to a man’s eye, is there, Brian.

  3. He’s got a point, though. If I’m going to do something for the very last time, I prefer not to *know* it’s the last time. Unless it’s something I hate, in which case I do it for the last time with great gusto and extra relish! But in the case of things I actually enjoy, I don’t want to know when the last time is. Please don’t tell me. Doing something I love for the last time and *knowing* it was the last time would probably make me cry as well, and tears are an activity which I avoid in a very zealous fashion.

  4. cheers to a bonny ‘last time.’ it’s cool you get to know ahead of time, and experience it fully.

  5. Lauren

    Oh mig, you’re making me all choked up and teary eyed.
    I wish everyone could have a dad like you! (yes, even with the hangovers)
    Hope you have a fantastic time at camp, and savour every moment. :)

  6. Lauren

    Oh mig, you’re making me all choked up and teary eyed.
    I wish everyone could have a dad like you! (yes, even with the hangovers)
    Hope you have a fantastic time at camp, and savour every moment. :)

  7. Lauren

    (damn, I gotta learn to be patient & stop clicking the ‘Post’ button…)

  8. zeynep

    Oh mig you always make me cry when you write about beta!!! Enjoy the camp….

  9. mig

    two things: first, as it turns out, there is no law that says the end of one thing can’t be the beginning of another thing. second, there is also no second law that says that what you think is going to be the last time really has to be the last time — both of us might do the orchestra again next year, time permitting. or might not. who knows.

  10. zeynep

    Thawing the Colossal squid

    Just thought you may be interested ….

  11. mig

    Thanks, Zeynep. Cool article.

  12. Jann

    The few times when I thought I was doing something for the last time, it turned out, in each case, not to be so. The things I worried about never happened. The bad things that have happened (in re my family) blindsided me. They are things that I didn’t expect, and if anybody had told me they would happen, I wouldn’t have believed them , not in a million years, not ever.

    I am reminded of Meryl Streep, playing Karen Blixen in the movie “Out of Africa,” who, when diagnosed with syphilis, (contracted from her husband), and having to go back to Denmark for treatment, (arsenic in those days, and a very uncertain treatment it was), said, “This is not what I thought would happen to me now.” An understatement, if I ever heard one!

  13. Paul

    Yeah, kids (or even your offspring who are no longer kids but young adults) can make you notice the passing of time.

    On the other hand, in the last year I’ve taken up the electric bass (and I believe this means I’ve now kept it up longer than your entire college electric bass playing efforts :-) ). I don’t think I would have had the patience when I was younger (so much younger than today), thank god for pharmaceuticals (perhaps I will dedicate my first album to them).