Yesterday evening I received a phone call asking if I was free this evening to play some background music for a dinner.
It is so unusual to get gigs this late notice (thank you to the lovely Alice Kirwan for giving my number to the guy sorting it out). The fee was less than I would charge for background music at a wedding, but, still half a month’s rent so I went for it. And here it is:
The dinner was at The Midland Hotel – right in the centre of Manchester. It’s an absolutely gorgeous hotel. Only problem was there were fifteen steps (yes I counted) to the room where the dinner was taking place. Nowadays all hotels have to be super-duper accessible so this surprised me. The staff were very enthusiastic in helping me though so I can’t complain. They also got me a diet coke and didn’t complain when I immediately spilt it all over the carpet (oops).
Background music is just so different to normal performing. In lots of ways it is a lot freer, as no one is listening that intently you can put in lots of repeats to err, pass the time (don’t tell anyone). But after about half an hour I realised that this was as calm as I’d felt all day. Just playing beautiful music to set the atmosphere.
Considering the fact that I’m a musician, I spend a large proportion of my time ‘sorting things out’, posting contracts/invoices, getting hold of music, replying to and sending emails, it feels good to chip away at these things but sometimes it feels as though for every little thing I get done, three more suddenly need doing. So it is actually very therapeutic to just play. Not to worry about the ‘to-do’ list that day or what I have to get done, just enjoying the sensation of making music allows my brain to be quiet for a few minutes, almost like meditation.
It’s a chance for the voices in my head to just be still and quiet… not that I have voices in my head, you understand…