St Jerome Concert Review

We really enjoyed organizing and performing in the Concert at St Jerome Catholic church January 13th, 2019. Rose and I performed a 20 min set of Baroque and a little bit of Spanish romantic instrumentals. Rose had some of her other musical friends as guest musicians as well who impressed all. The music director of the church played a really great pipe organ piece. I played a spanish classical piece I have never performed in a recital or concert before, Recuerdos De La Alhambra. Rose took Cello lead on Black Orpheus aka Manha De Carnival. I was surprised by the turnout and the quality of attendees present. I have to admit, I was a little nervous, but when it was over, I felt it was a successful experience. 

Our New Band

What’s it like to start or join a new band? I’ll tell you my experience with ArcoVera and be very open and candid. 

I was scared of classical musicians and starting conversation. Then around early 2018 Rose Mallare and her cello gradually merged into my world. It’s a little cloudy looking back but I remember she was very friendly to all of my friends and very supportive of any musicians she met. She was booking for a venue in Tampa. That’s how she found the Irish band I was playing with. So one thing led to another and Rose invited me to sit in with her on some of her gigs. It was good motivation to rehearse and we would get together once a week to work on set lists to get us through the upcoming gigs and performances I was sitting in on. I could have just showed up and played but we really both needed the preparation as well as the practice.  The more I play with Rose, the more respect I have for her as a musician and as a survivor in the hospitality and music world in general. She considers herself primarily a dancer, as she has done that professionally for years before segueing into music full time. She really gets out and meets people. That’s always one of the biggest secrets to success I think. I’m glad she reached out to me. I probably would have been too shy to reach out to her. I think I am learning a lot from her personality. She can cope so well with obligations, in ways I am only beginning to. 

When people ask me what I do, or what my background is, I have no words. I’m terrible at writing up anything official, like a musician’s biography or blurb that will go on a flyer or hand out. I don’t know what people are going to find interesting or useful about my life. Maybe I don’t know where my private life ends and my public service life starts. Where is that line? It must be an art to be able to effectively choose what and how to communicate one’s selling points and to do it in a pleasant or captivating way. I see myself as somewhat of a quiet, reclusive, introverted, sleeping dragon. The trouble is, dragons all need to be awakened once in a while to keep their fire burning. A sleeping dragon can get a little too sedentary in old age. A few years ago I started to feel the pain of too much burden on my mind and body from not interacting in the world on a more social level, and from not seeing my dragon moments through to fruition. There was very little fruition of any kind really. I was distracted and diverted by so many hobbies and frivolous ventures that music was certainly not flourishing for me. Lately I resolved to give music more of my attention, because I started to realize it deserved pursuing, especially as this stage in my life. All of this magically coincided with moving into a rental home of my own with plenty of space for rehearsing. I have been here taking as much advantage as possible of the living room/music room. I’ve been burning the candle at both ends for a little while now, since getting this house. That was a big adjustment period of just being more busy than usual, and trying to make the money to pay bills, which meant investing my time in ventures that may or may not pan out. Most of it has been very fruitful and is growing roots that will nourish the future for me. I have started teaching music again for the first time in many years. I also do computer work “on the side” such as graphic design and website development and launching for small personal sites and simple business sites. That is not the kind of work I really want to be doing much of and I hope the music and teaching stuff takes the place of sitting in front of a computer. If I’m going to sit in front of a computer, I would prefer to be writing and arranging music. 

Well, how shall I close this article and keep it on point with the “new band” I’m in? The future. I think Arco Vera can grow and add members. What will become of it? I’m just learning how to keep a duo afloat, so a bigger band will take special considerations, but it would be nice to have upright bass, and some kind of percussion or drums. The band should stay in it’s niche, so sometimes less is more, and being more focused is really the right thing to do.