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Hot hot sun, and a few gigs

This week my mood wave lifted a bit. A few gigs popped up. Not enough to call an income but enough to give me a bit more positivity. I’d suggested to a jazz club as they were busy cancelling my bookings that they might like to put on some outdoor events in the afternoon. They came back to me a few weeks later to take me up on my idea. A few days later I had a call from another band leader to book me to play with them for another open-air gig at the same club, so my suggestion has created two gigs for myself. I’ve also been booked to do a duo in a large venue in town, and since brass instruments still aren’t allowed to be played indoors I’ll be playing my double bass with a pianist. Also another friend called me to play for an outdoor event not far away – a trio of banjo, sousaphone and clarinet (a staple line-up for summer events). So with an outdoor gig near Cambridge tomorrow too that makes four in a month.

The general feeling from the gigging music fraternity is pretty low. One friend of mine who lives in New Orleans posted on Facebook: “Without music I'm fading away to nothing. Trying to find some fight to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Not sure why.”

After many sympathetic, helpful and less helpful comments...

“Thank you all so much. It really helps to hear from everyone. So much love to you. It is only for a few months more, and it certainly is a time for growth, still, 6 months or whatever it is just seems so far away. Some days anyway. On good days I envisage us all back together, playing our asses off, and loving it.”

Another friend of mine responded: “It's hard. I take it as a mixture, a test, a chance to experiment with new things, a forced holiday, a crazy adventure, anything to keep the hope going… Embracing a mild depression without guilt feels reasonable at this point!”

I added to my suite of oompah numbers for my production music project - each one progressively more silly / jokey. I hope someone finds a use for them and I make something out of them...


https://www.grahamhughesjazz.com/original-recordings

The sun has been baking – the hottest August day for many years, and I’ve been cycling all over town visiting people...


The family birthdays continued with one of my niece’s 19th. This called for a trip over to Hackney to wish happy birthday and enjoy a slice of cake. I had a play with my bass player friend in Acton again, visited the manager of the company taking on my production music recordings in Kensal Rise, went for a play with my nephew, a jazz pianist, in Hackney, saw a friend in Battersea where we explored the park and the area and saw my mum to pick blackberries on Hampstead Heath.

Hampstead Heath on a hot summer's day

I’ve also joined a sailing club on a reservoir in North East London – I had bought a windsurfer last autumn from Ebay but hadn’t yet managed to find a place to use it. I used to love windsurfing when younger so I’m hoping it’ll become a new hobby of mine. My first outing wasn’t such a success as I discovered just before taking it on the water that a critical clip was broken. Now it’s not windy enough and too hot. I'll have to wait till the weather changes.

When I’m feeling low I have to question myself whether I have a right to feel low. I love playing music and entertaining people, and it’s my main source of income. I have worked for years and years to build up my work and skills to be able to do this, so I do feel like I’ve earned it and it hurts when it’s all pulled away. A bit of rest from what had become a pretty gruelling schedule isn't such a bad thing though.

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