mad about music

2013-04-26 Loja (19)

Cannot believe how pro I look in this shot! So far from how I feel.

This picture was taken at I’s place, in his bedroom studio. He’s a professional sound guy, has worked overseas recording and mixing music. I was there with JA, JT and JM, and some new friends – they’d invited JA and me over to record some of our compositions. I had a lot of fun that night, but it also made me think some …

JM and I had heard me play and sing an original piece at El Sendero earlier in the week.

Flattering that they felt it worthy of recording, right?


We were hanging out at the house, and one of JT’s comments really struck me.

He said, “Why do you think I keep coming to Sendero? Because of JA and you, because you’re musicians (like me).”

That’s like Roger Federer saying he likes hanging out with you because you’re a tennis player.


The whole time I was trying to encourage me, saying don’t get so down on yourselfyou have a lovely voicey’know even professional artists make mistakes and it’s all the editing that people like me do that make them sound like they sound … etc etc.

I told him it’s not that, it’s that I feel frustrated because I know I can do better, but I haven’t had the training.

He said, why not?

Good question.

I said I never bothered – and the key there is that I never bothered because it never seemed like an ability worth developing, when compared to other people I never considered myself musically talented. I mean, next to JA and JT I do kinda feel insecure!

I have always had this jack-of-all-trades master-of-none view of myself, like I dabble in a bit of everything, but am not particularly great at anything. And in fact, the truth is I feel more confident about my drawing and writing than my voice or my music in general.

The little I know of music has been enough, really. Back in Gonzanamá, it meant I was able to lead worship with the guitar, where previously the church had been relying on the CD player. When I started out at my church here in Loja, very early on, music was how I connected with the youth – first singing with them at a public event, then playing some guitar, and just generally understanding and appreciating music.

Music is universal. If young people back in Australia are crazy about music and concerts – with very, very few exceptions – young Ecuadorians (and specifically, young lojanos) are more so. They live and breathe music. You can see that passion come through even in their Facebook activity.

I’d noticed years ago that music is such an asset to my sister in terms of connecting with people and making friends. I just never thought it would be true for me too.

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