Sunday, October 22, 2006


Musicians in the Family

I'm forever whining that I'm not musical - at least not musically talented. I love to listen to music and let it sink deeply into my marrow, but that doesn't seem to count as the practice of music. The message I've gotten is that one has to play, and play well, to be considered musical.

I used to think that my family had no musical talent whatsoever. I didn't know a single family member from a previous generation who played an instrument. Not long ago, I asked my mom about this. Was there anyone in our extended family who was known for playing music? Turns out that a great uncle of mine was quite the accordian player, with a good rep for his skill.

The music bug has bitten several family members in my generation - two cousins on my dad's side, and, most notably for me, my brother John. He started playing bass and guitar when he was a teenager and has since taught himself drums, and the recording process. He also sings, but is tentative about it. He has a recording studio set up in his basement and would like nothing more than to work in the music biz in some capacity. He has a website called Tres-Huevos that features one of his songs, Waltz #2.

I married into a musical family. My husband Erik played flute in school. He also plays both acoustic and electric guitar, mostly by ear. And he has a good ear. All of his siblings are musical, with his sister Jill concentrating her talent on bringing new music into main-line churches. She has two websites, one for her personal music, and one for her church mission. The latter is called Tributaries of Faith. One of Jill's songs, Imago Dei, was recently accepted for the new United Church of Canada hymnal.

I'm pleased that I now have so many musicians in my family. Maybe some of that talent will eventually rub off.

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