Sunday, January 18, 2009

the house concert

i played my first house concert last night
at michael and mary's
gavin and i got there around 6
and set up the P.A. in the living room
a big comfy room with really high ceilings
that sort of wraps around into an open kitchen
it was the perfect setting to play in
they'd set up candles and had the lights
on a dimmer
so the ambiance was really nice
about 15 minutes before "doors" we sat
down and had some great pasta
and G had granola cereal which he proclaimed was
the guests started arriving around 7
and by the time i was ready to start it looked like
we had a full house
i stood in front of the fireplace
and everyone gathered round on chairs
and sofas
i'd put a bunch of song titles (28 to be exact)
on slips of paper in a hat to be passed around
and drawn
instead of making a traditional set list
i thought it would be fun to try something random
that i'd never done before
i sometimes find myself going to certain "safe"
songs over and over again
so it felt liberating to give in to the randomness
of michael's magic hat
the first song drawn was "she'd walk a mile"
with instructions for "percussion from the audience"
so we distributed the tub of percussion
i'd brought with me
a kazoo (which gavin found - of course)
almost everyone in the room had something
and then we all played "she'd walk a mile"
the whole experience ended up being one of the best i've ever
had playing music
2 and a half hours flew by
it seemed like 10 minutes
i ended up doing 2 sets and about 20 songs all
when "snowing in my heart" was drawn we all went to the front room
and i hacked my way through a piano version of it
this was in fact my piano performing debut
as i'd never touched the instrument in front of a room full of
people before
(next time i will practice!!)
it was interesting to see what the magic hat delivered
the pacing of both sets ended up being really nice
and more importantly
something i would have never done if i'd been in charge of the song order
there was even one intriguing trifecta of
"it's lonely when you're all alone"
"it's ok to be sad"
which are 3 songs very much related to each other
and all about the same subject
the last song drawn was "stranger in my own skin"
which was a fitting song to end the night on
it reminded me that i no longer feel the way i used to about
in front of a silent group of people
all watching and listening to everything i do intently
i feel safe, loved and happy
not uncomfortable or judged
yes, it's taken me many years to get to this place
but i really appreciate it now
that i've arrived here

thank you michael and mary (and the rest of the gang!)
for a very special night
i will always fondly remember




Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you Salim for sharing your wonderful talent with crowd. the night was certainly 'magical' for us and we will never forget the experience.

same time next week?

Michael & Mary

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I asked Gavin "who is your favorite musician to come to your dad's studio?" He said "my dad". I told him you were my favorite too. You shined last night, Rock Star! Love, ce

2:44 PM  
Blogger sarah jane said...

You know, I had this house concert on my calendar somehow... And then I couldn't find any info in old emails and became convinced I made it up! Sorry we missed.

7:25 PM  
Blogger daniel said...

hey salim,
i can't wait to play some more new songs with you! the granada show was a blast.

3:43 PM  

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