I am at a watering hole in Manila, which in a past life was an Italian restaurant. Its owner used to run a very popular cafe in the area, which happened to lend its name to a stage play before.
Tonight, I am listening to a jazz quintet. I am waiting for a musician-friend to arrive, and he’s supposed to be playing after them with another band. For a change, I am listening neither to indie rock, nor to folk, nor to electronica. Those are the kinds of music I’ve gotten used to hearing live over the last two years.
Maybe I need a break. Later in the year, I will be up in the mountains for a time of absolute silence again, but for now, I will give myself just this–the kind of music I never get to hear often. After all, there is a time for everything.
I have said here that whenever I wrote and got something published on anything, it reflects what I thought at the time. It may be, and it has, that my opinions on either the art or the artist have changed. But my first impressions remain–it’s part of my history as a writer and one who appreciates music. The key is that I learn, with each year that passes, to be more discerning about how I think and to be more wary of “falling in love” without understanding the emotional and professional consequences.
I can say that given this, there are some things I would have retracted had I known better then as I do now. But as a noted musician would tell me, it’s a “learning experience.” I am grateful to all the musicians I’ve gotten to know in my lifetime, no matter how our paths crossed or diverged. And I hope that, like these jazz musicians right before me, we can all find a way to play together while improvising in our own voices.