And A One...

A few musings on the change of seasons as time yanks us forward like a puppy on a leash: Musicians are in the business of keeping time.  With or without formal training, we need to recognize the difference between quarter notes and triplets, "swing time" and "straight eighths," and revere the existence of a "pocket."  Ironically, many of us are chronically tardy for real-world appointments, and frequently have empty pockets.  
I've been told that I "think time is negotiable".  It's true that if I start brushing my teeth at 9:15, I assume it's still 9:15 after I've finished, even after I've brushed, flossed, rinsed, dried, checked phone messages, written a to-do list, answered a couple of emails and had a conversation about how life is short and we should seize the moment.  But it's difficult to attempt more than futile lunge at a moment when you're chronically late for it.  Fortunately, music is a way of keeping track of time even while losing track of it in a real-world sense.  It's more than my job, it's my spiritual pacemaker.  If I don't keep the batteries charged, my blood doesn't flow, my cells break down, and even light activity becomes impossible to manage.  
These questions dance through my mind like falling leaves in autumn: Why is time so illusory? why does September time feel so different from August time? This summer in particular seemed to linger up until the very last minute of August, without the little resigned chill that usually creeps in a couple of weeks before Labor Day.   A week into September, nothing had actually changed, except for the traffic, and the general increase in right and left merges that precede a National election. It was still deliciously warm, even at night.  The farm stands are still open for another month or more.  But everything is going by just as blindingly fast as it ever has, we've just lost the consensus that time should appear to stand still, the pact we make with each other when we observe holidays. Now it's barely September, and the gears of time seem freshly greased. 16-hour days that last week sat on their backs and soaked in the sun are now being rapidly, systematically sucked into the machine.  And we can't help but throw ourselves in after them.  It is invigorating, after all.  After all those languid afternoons, drooping from the heat and humidity, peeling off our sticky garments and returning to a womb of salt and sand.  How refreshing to face each other, fully clothed and wearing our best intentions, seeing ourselves at the beginning of a journey.
As I finish writing this, it’s already the 10th - oops, the 11th - of September, more than a third of the way into the month, veering towards halfway. Case in point and point taken. With my feet back on the ground and my mind hovering somewhere nearby, I will take this fleeting opportunity to catch you (and myself) up on a host of events taking place over the next few weeks. Paul is thrilled to be teaching at Berklee again this year as part of the Roots Program. We are both excited to be giving classes at the Passim School of Music in Cambridge;the Beginning Harmonica and Country Blues classes have both been filled, but there are still openings in the Harmonica Ensemble class. We also have a lot of work cut out for us as we learn how to create video lessons for our new online “Sherpa” classrooms.
All this teaching makes us even more hungry to play a live show - and we’re looking forward to some special coffeehouse nights in New England this Fall. More than anything, it’s a pleasure to see students, fans and friends, and join together in rhythm to keep track of time, to lose track of everything else, and to make time stand still for just a few crystalline moments.
Best to all,
Annie and Paul