First time is a charm

Last night was a night of firsts!

I dropped my daughter at her first rehearsal of Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, she plays trombone. I had 90 minutes to fill so I headed to the other side of downtown to see my friend Ethan Keller play a solo gig where he looped bass guitar, human beatbox, hand percussion and acoustic guitar while he sang over it in a brew pub’s outdoor space. He brought along his son who I hadn’t met yet.

It was lovely chatting with Ethan, being out in public having a drink around other people.

I had some interesting sensory experiences. The weather was pleasant enough so the windows of my car were down. As I drove through downtown I kept thinking to myself, ‘What is that SMELL?’. I got a bit closer to the venue and thought I should pick up some cash, just in case. When I was standing at the ATM I realized what the smells were: city in summer.

I live in Milwaukee’s western suburbs, not too far from Milwaukee itself, but far enough to not feel like being in a city. I was smelling the confluence of three rivers, dense auto traffic and restaurants. I’ve been stuck inside so long or just in my yard that my brain had deleted what city life smells like. Couldn’t help but be a little sad.

At the gig I also had a soul-saving revelation. Recently I’ve been thinking of pitching ideas of playing music on stages again as total folly. I’d begun to convince myself that I didn’t really want to play music anymore. Far from it.

So now the work begins. And in the last 24 hours I’ve been contacted by a music student via to again be a bass teacher. When the galaxy calls, you have to listen.


Steven J White @stevenjwhite