the something and through the other thing
From a review of a
Getting from point A to point B. How we get from
those two points varies according to the
individual. For some, the quickest route serves
best, not attractive for sight-seeing, but saves
time. For others, taking in some scenery, and an
escape from the busiest highways with its
congestion, short-tempered drivers et al allows
for a more pleasant drive.
there's Joe Holt..."
Over the months
and years (for some of you), I have shared (some
of) my evolving understandings of "point
B", and the paths I've taken. That you are
interested is a blessing to me, and I'm grateful.
As I finish this newsletter, I'm about to leave
for another concert. And, as my be the case on any
given day, my (view of) the path tomorrow may be
quite different from today. Still enjoying the
ride, though. Here are some points on the path
(best as I can figure it out)...
performs in concert at the Darlington Arts
Center, Garnet Valley, PA
Joe performs for the monthly
Coffeehouse series: "Spontaneous Joy". A wholly
improvised concert, from classical themes to jazz
standards, to entertaining demonstrations of
musical improvisation (including Joe's A.D.D.
Improv), and original music from "Stories Without
performs, solo piano, in concert at the Presbyterian
Church of Chestertown, MD
performs hymns and spirituals, classical and jazz
performs with the Shore Jazz
Trio at Beseme,
Jazz returns for 2011! John, Mike and Joe kick off
performs with/accompanies Karen
Somerville at the Mainstay,
Rock Hall, MD
pays tribute to the legendary Billie Holiday in:
"Just Call Me Billie".
Whitaker present: "He's Steppin'
Out" at the
Allaince Church, Dover De.
special Easter Sunday performance with music from
Joe's original CD; "He's Steppin Out" .
this is SO...and I mean SOOOOOOOOO good !
love it !
is so good. Loved the way you articulated the
difference between note playing and playing by ear
(my strength is the latter). You have a real
teachers spirit - listening to you speak is a joy
and makes the lesson easy to take in. Looking
forward to learning lots.
really getting into how you seem to give words to
what happens instinctively when we
make/compose/perform music. Such a fitting name.
Sorted through our CDs on
Saturday. Sitting on Sunday listing to some of
your older recordings that you did with Chris.
Totally enjoyed them.
had the great pleasure of seeing you at the Stoltz
Listening room in my home town of Easton. I look
forward to listening to you play again.
loved this! Could have listened all
for the Thoughtful Pianist|
comment thread on the YouTube video: Lesson 1A -
"The Foundation, and Practice, of Playing By
is great, I am actually trying to learn to read
music, people think that playing by ear is a
"magical gift." Maybe by some point it is. But I
remember working so hard at it as a teenager, and
listening to Bach chorales on cassette in the
kitchen with my ear mashed against the speaker,
and running to the piano, and either yes I would
get it, or no I wouldn't and have to go back to
the cassette... it is definitely nothing magical
;-) and *not a little* frustrating... but
learnable, for sure
comment is great, too :)
nearly every toddler learns to verbally
communicate before learning to read or write,
simply by living in the environment where that
happens should be all we need to know. Thanks!
point!! I do recall, before the more intensive
ear training, that I got a tiny toy electric organ
for Christmas when I was 7. I had no idea what it
was good for and was so disappointed ;-) but I
randomly started at the top note, a C, and with
one finger I plunked my way down all the white
keys in succession, and-- surprise, it sounded
like "Joy to the World"!! Fitting song for
Christmas day! THEN I got interested! but like you
say that is a normal way to start ear training
is interesting, as I received my second toy piano
(this one with 2 octaves of real black and white
keys) at 5, and remember plunking out Jingle Bells
(first) with one finger. 45 years later, I'm still
on that same path of growing in expression, and
that's what's it's about, right?
the concert last Sunday night at the Washington
Grace Church of the Nazarene. I felt as warmly
accepted and connected as could be, in an entirely
African-American congregation. Also obvious was
(is) God at work. The Pastor, in introducing
me, read aloud a letter I had written a
few weeks before, addressed to the church board.
It wasn't intended for that purpose, and as such
it felt somewhat out of place. Here is an
"Thank you for the
opportunity to come and present God's (general)
revelation at Grace Church in a few weeks. I am a
Christian musician, and as such, one who strongly
believes that all organized sound (just as
anything else in God's creation) is inherently
revelatory, and God-glorifying. Being a full time
performer for over 30 years, I have long ago
reconciled the dilemma of what kind of music a
Christian should be involved in: (which is) the
highest substantive level possible. I do not
believe that God is best served (or honored) by
(simply) imitating the shallowness of (any)
popular culture. Just as a preacher who is
knowledgeable of the Word, and desires to spread
it, that it may be used of God according to His
purposes; the artist (in my understanding) can be
confident that God's creative wonder also "does
not return to me void, but will accomplish the
purpose for which I sent it". Every day, both
within and outside the (organized) church, I am
blessed with opportunities to, both: connect with
God in musical performance, and experience this
connection shared with others. When performing in
a church setting, I have the additional privilege
to speak of these blessings, and openly proclaim
God at the center of all of it."
I was also feeling the (especially familiar right
now) sense of loss of control (over the
presentation/circumstances). If my self-analysis
is close here, than I'll go further, and assume
that it was helpful. I have to let go, in order to
hold on. Have journaled here, over the last few
years, some of the journey of learning to get
outside of myself/out of my own way. That's a work