More than most other things I enjoy being a musician. I’m a classically trained percussionist, whatever that means. In high school, I sat behind a set of 3 ancient tympani, a xylophone that had
bars engraved with ancient hieroglyphs been badly vandalized, and an assortment of shakers, dingers, and whizzers galore during long after-school hours devoted to playing in the community theater pit orchestra. In my youth, I thought this set of instruments was very much a second fiddle to the adjacent drumset that in my later shows I would eventually occupy. While I enjoyed both, today’s ‘me’ would ask for the second fiddle because of the bar rests.
In music, the space between notes not occupied by toots, honks, and ratta-tat-tats is as important as its noisier counterpart. And even combined, the auxiliary percussion parts I helmed for the theater were brief at best — accents and highlights of themes that, in truth belonged to trumpets, violins — the occasional clarinet. Everything else I “played” was a bar rest — a black bar on a page of music that takes up the space of one written measure but carries a number above it that specified just how long the conductor doesn’t want to pay attention to the
obnoxious drummer(s) classically trained concert percussionists. Three or so times through, I learned my parts well enough that I could completely zone out and still not miss a beat; I listened subconsciously and when my part was coming up, I’d put down whatever book I was reading, play my 3 notes, and pick my book back up. I loved the in between then and I love it still.
So I’ve decided to
embrace conquer our new season of waiting with a little bit of wonder and a whole lot of fun: due to some poor math (I blame sympathy hormones) and the fact that the sun continues to rise and set, we have entered single digits in our super-secret and spazz-attack-inducing countdown.
Ladies and gentlefolks, we have 9 days left.