Thursday, April 20, 2017


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I talk about gratitude in my blog from time to time, about being grateful to be able to play the art I love, to have a group of people that I can play with, an organization that makes my playing possible, even the equipment to do my playing on - and many other areas.

But I was thinking about the idea of appreciation, and how it's different.

If you go to an art gallery, you might come to appreciate some of the art.  You like how something looks, maybe even how it feels or sounds.  That's the purpose of the gallery, after all.  You can of course appreciate other things, like a beverage, furniture, sounds of nature, etc.

Playing a shime and hearing where the tones differ just inches apart, that's something I can appreciate.  Pulling out one of the oldest drums we have on the shelves, I appreciate how different and unique the sound is.  I appreciate the sound of the cracked chappa, the sound of the odaiko before the new heads were broken in, the spot on our sumo-daiko  that looks like Abraham Lincoln (no, seriously!).

All of these sounds and shapes have character, stand out a little from the rest.  And we may not want those qualities in an actual performance, sure - but acknowledging them, appreciating them, that's better than dismissing them or just labeling them in a negative light.

What little peculiarities are there in your equipment, your costumes, your rehearsal space, or even in your membership that you might miss if they were gone?  What's something that stands out when used - and so you may not use it anymore - but that has a quality that could still be artistically useful?

If you can appreciate, you can be grateful.  If you can be grateful, you can do some good!

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