I’ve been a fan of Chris Thile and his music since his days with Nickel Creek and most recently Punch Brothers. He has a way of playing his mandolin that totally blows my mind. His band mates share that same trait of musical impact in their own way. When you put them together on stage, with just a few microphones and the band gathered in a semi-circle…..well, cool things happen. I highly recommend checking them out here to start.
Several years ago I caught them at the Sellersville Theater just five minutes from my house. They played a beautiful show and I had a chance to speak with a few of the guys afterwards in the lobby. We talked about the telepathy they all share on stage. Their music is not “easy” listening. Beautiful, tuneful, emotive, soaring, quiet….and challenging.
I told them that they are the only band I’ve seen where I actually felt wonderfully drained at the end….just from listening. The songs move in such a way that you need to be actively engaged to hear the movements from part to part. You pick up subtle shifts in mood and tone that you’re not consciously aware of until it floats by you and you think, “wow, what was THAT?” I described it to Chris as listening to water rushing by you, trying to collect it with your fingers and having the sweet kiss of it, quenching your thirst just enough to keep you going, but you can never gather enough.
It’s amazing what music can do to me. And tonight I was thinking of that show and thought of a quote from Alan Watts that resonated with me:
“The art of living…is neither careless drifting on the one hand nor fearful clinging to the past on the other. It consists in being sensitive to each moment, in regarding it as utterly new and unique, in having the mind open and wholly receptive.”
I’m seeing Fountains of Wayne this coming Saturday AND Sunday in my area. I look forward to losing myself a bit in the music. And I certainly plan on being wholly receptive.