Some of you might know that I’m a singer and guitarist in a rock n’ roll band. Last weekend, we had our second sold out show at a beautiful local furniture shop/coffeehouse. First thing to note was that the show was sold out in advance. It’s not the norm for that venue, even with a humble capacity of somewhere between 40-50 people. The second thing to note was that the overwhelming majority were people we’ve never met before and that our own friends and families couldn’t get reservations. It’s a little hard to convey how significant that is in the little Kingdom of Bahrain on a Saturday night with many events going on. I have to admit to being a bit oblivious to the good press we’ve recently been getting and the reputation we’ve been developing around the country. Back to the coffeehouse. Why were people there? Recent headlines in local newspapers, magazines, social media etc. have been talking about audiences “falling in love” with the band, the band “stealing the show”. Others say things like “Local Iconic Band Headlines Festival”. Being the MULC coach that I am, I was (as usual) really tuning into the vibe, to what kind of people were there, how they were feeling, what they were expecting and after the show began, how they were responding. My goal as a performer and frontman has (at least in recent years) not been to impress, to demonstrate a particular skill or talent or to have them think we’re the best musicians in the world. It is to get people, at least for a moment in time, to feel good about themselves. To make them forget that they and I are different people. My freedom and peace is their freedom and peace. My rapport and fun, friendly, loving bro-dynamic with the rest of the band is their dynamic with the band. Our music is their music. Our vibe is their vibe. How does it happen? I don’t know. The only thing that I can boil it down to is being in a state of freedom and complete appreciation of the moment. Freedom from judgment. Freedom from expectations. Freedom from the ego’s idea of what this all should be. Do the terms “dot-mind” and “parallel processing” sound familiar?
All the “magic” happens in non-verbal communication, intuitive movements and responses, eye contact, smiles, focus of attention on particular things and moments. The music itself, to me, is the vehicle.
I’m not saying that the music that we play doesn’t have a very important role in the whole experience. It does. But to me, it’s the vehicle.
I see it on the audience’s faces. Very often they mirror our expressions and subtle movements.
This is also why my response to the question “Would you be able to survive without music in your life” is “Yes”, which shocks people who know me. I’ve been obsessed with music my entire life.
The reason is, if music were to be taken away from me, I’d be using another avenue to practice the same thing. And as far as I’m concerned, that “thing” matters a lot more than the vehicle of expression.
In fact, I already am. It’s coaching. It’s teaching Muay Thai. It’s being involved with my local NGO bringing people together for beach cleanups and tree planting events. With everything we do, we are in some way able to help people lower some level of internal chaos.
Therefore, being a good functioning node in this network of conscious beings.
Yes, we have individual methods of expression, but the goal is the same.