Sunday, October 25, 2009

I guess we were born to be gypsies!

I'm starting to feel like a disorganized gypsy again. My belongings are quite literally strewn across three states. Precious stuff, like family history, is stored in Las Vegas; the stuff that didn't fit and was left in the house went to Utah. And then early this week, we packed van and trailer as tight as we could with necessities and came back home.

Yes, back to our house on Hover in Colorado.

It was a kind of spur-of-the-moment move (turned out three of us had been thinking about it, and when we all finally started talking, it seemed like a good idea--the house was sitting empty, and we were staying with family. Why not move home?), so we ended up with random things--all the knives, but no measuring spoons; a whole package of pens, but only a couple sheets of paper; all the towels but none of the dishrags or wash cloths; a few most precious toys but not enough to keep everyone busy all day; bottle brush and bottles but no dish soap; frying pan and saucepan and 3 spatulas but no stirring get the idea.

Fortunately, my wonderful aunt, Donella, who just moved out of this house, lives in the area. She came to my rescue with dinner, dishes, spices, baking pans, etc--not just things to get by, but things to really enjoy ourselves, including supplies for making pies (since she knows my extended family loves pies) and a BIG bag of toys for the kids. Hooray! AND she's letting us borrow her extra washing machine and fridge so we can function here.

It's weird to come full circle! Back where we started. It just took two years.

Had we known we would be coming back here, we would have been back as soon as Toxic Audio closed. And we would have missed out on some awesome experiences. How many musicians get to go to the world capitol of their particular art (Vegas is considered one of the entertainment capitols of the world, and there is more solo vocal/vocal ensemble music concentrated there than anywhere else) and spend 18 months studying every aspect of it? Tim is particularly adept at observing and analyzing what is going on (esp in performance) and then applying that information to his own shows, so it was a particularly useful time for him. He learned about every aspect of both creating and mounting a world-class vocal music show. It was like grad school in popular vocal music--something you still can't study in school.

I mean it. Seriously. There are commercial music programs, but where could he get a MM (Masters of Music) with an emphasis in popular vocal ensemble performance/conducting? You'd need whole classes in the difference between a concert and a show; mass entertainment versus building a fan base; presenting yourself (to the public and to auditioners); the role of talking in a music show/how to not bore a non-fan audience/programming a show; starting a new group from scratch; defining your image; learning from other performing genres; tech for musicians (audio and visual concerns); costuming; using technology in your show (you'd be surprised how few vocalists really know how to use a mic!), etc. That kind of a program doesn't exist. (He could teach one now, though, I suspect!)

So I'm really deeply ashamed of all my whining and fussing over my own personal discomfort in Las Vegas. Had God given me what I was begging for, Tim would have missed out on an incredibly valuable learning time. I would have short-circuited his future--our future--for my short-term comfort. That'll teach me not to trust God. I guess I'm still weak on faith...but I'm learning.

So now we're back in Longmont (and oh how I love this ugly old house on the busy street!), still blind to our future but with a LOT more knowledge than we had when we left.

Tim is excited to be here because there are unbelievably talented singers here who are anxious to work with him (they even look like they could be brothers...and they communicate that well and approach music performance that well, too). I've been laughing because we've had what we call the "too many bicycles" phenomenon (once we prayed for Tim to get a bike when we were totally broke and couldn't even spare $50 to buy a used one, and within a week we had 3--I think they were all free!). This time, we spent 2 years in Vegas praying for a bass to sing with Tim, and also a really great tenor. Now he's got a really great tenor (literally the only other  man on earth whose singing voice is as appealing, flexible, and accurate as Tim's) and no less than 4 basses lined up, all of whom are also vocal percussionists! I hate seeing/hearing Tim sing bass to back up a soloist that isn't as good as he is (especially on songs he wrote/arranged for his voice as lead)--so this is delightful to me. Not only can Tim take the solos now if he wants to, all 5 of these guys are as good of soloists as he is! Now if we can just find that perfect female voice.....4 octave range and mellow through it all (no shrill notes), and able to both blend with and hold her own with 5 guys and no other female voices or instruments.

He's also excited because this house has a 500+ sq ft studio in the basement that is only semi-finished space right now, so we can finish it up with a filming corner (white wall with curved corners), a recording booth/home studio, and rehearsal space. It will be great work space for him.

And I'm excited because Colorado likes us, and we like Colorado. Here is the ward where I had writing friends. Here is the state that gave Tim the Impact Award for having the greatest impact on vocal ensemble music in the Rocky Mountains. Here is one of the best sound guys for mixing a cappella live. Here are people who welcome new music projects, are interested in novelty (Live Looping, here we come!), are not selfish as musicians. Here are decent (not great, but decent) home school laws. Here we feel at peace and at home.

I have no idea if we're staying a month or a decade. I guess we shall see!


morelightthanburden said...

Hooray for you! I was wondering why you dropped off the edge of the blogsphere . . . now I know why :)

Glad to hear you are home again and I hope and pray all go well for you!!

Laura said...

Becca--I don't know if you know, but we have two other homeschooling mommies in the ward. You should talk to Misty Rogers about her playgroup and about the day program the district has for homeschool kids. It's something about fairness and electives and so for one day a week kids in second grade and up (I think) get together and take PE or Spanish or Music or whatever you sign them up for. It might not work with your alternate schedule, but I thought you'd want to know. The other mommy's name is Amber; can't remember the last name. Also, I don't know if you remember Joy Wheeler. She moved out to Mead, but she homeschools too and has some good connections and ideas.

Welcome back :)

Brooke said...

Baugh! You guys were living here for months, and we never got to see you! That's what I get for procrastinating. Oh, well. Glad to hear that your fab aunt managed to get you some measuring spoons. Oddly, they were the one thing in your list of missing objects that made me wince. No measuring spoons?!? Horrors!