My secret weapon is my wife. She’s the best judge. She’s a scientist and a natural reader. We’ve developed a detailed code for how she marks a manuscript, and I think it’s what saves me from wild digressions. – Erik Larson
A wise teacher once told me: If the only time you think you’re making music is when you’re singing or playing your instrument, you’re most likely missing cues and ignoring ghost notes. That lesson intrigued me for most of my time in college; it left a profound impression on me for years to come. I can remember one class I had while attending Berklee College of Music. I was taking Conducting 2 with a teacher whose name has slipped my mind. If any of my colleauges reading this took this class with me, share with me his name. We were conducting Firebird Suite by Igor Stravinsky. I felt nervous after my first day of class because I was chewed out and felt like I could fail because I was giving cues to the wrong section. I couldn’t remember where the oboes and clarinets were and the teacher was like, “I’m only gonna tell you this ONE time, so you better remember this…”
“1st violins here! 2nd violins here! Cellos here!…..” Fortunately, my mind was still # enough to recall things at will. Now a days, it takes a little more soul searching to vividly see things. I struggled that first week of class, but after that, I stayed up all night making sure I marked the piece up well, knowing when to bring certain sections in and out.
The Perfect Score
I wish I could say that was the only class I struggled in. I failed Counterpoint 2 in which we were writing ‘Bach Inventions’. Took the class twice and I barely passed the second time. I’m writing this to you so that we have a better understanding of what ‘true perfection’ looks like.
God has the bop on everything, so don’t worry about who has a hit on you. Do your best to know who you are in + and do >. Let no one make you feel like anything <.
Fascinating quote I may add. Surely there must be some validity to that statement if we can see past the cultural and/or historical context in which it’s written. What you think?
The Perfect Rest
Well the other reason I turned down a lot of gigs was because of my wife. If she felt uncomfortable with me working with certain people, I wouldn’t take the job. If she felt like we weren’t spending enough time together, I tried my best to accommodate her wishes. I sacrificed my own desires for the sake of my family which is what any good husband would do. Godly men, if you are not willing to put down your own ambitions and goals for the sake of pleasing God and your spouse, do NOT get married. The same goes for godly women.
Unfortunately, these sacrifices would ultimately lead me to bouts of depression. At one point, it got really bad. Not because of my failures, because I understood that to be a part of perfection. Rather after defending my stance in talks of senselessness, I found myself blindsided by spiritual ambushes causing me to question my faith.
The Perfect Sound
Did God really say…? Why is this so difficult? Is there any mercy left for me? I did what good Christians were supposed to do; read the Bible. I glued myself to it to understand it more, but it wasn’t helping me. This was before I understood the whole truth. I did what I understood to be true in spite of what others would say; it doesn’t take all that, it’s not all that deep, you can’t do it, etc. It was when my wife and I got into a tense fight that I really questioned it all and abandoned the faith. It was then I didn’t care about anything, not even music. For at my very core, I couldn’t enjoy music if God wasn’t in it. I threw all of my equipment and instruments away. I didn’t even sell them. I stopped playing in church by the very principle. And yet, in America, a great number of Evangelicals would elect someone to the highest authority in the US, someone that couldn’t even be a deacon if you’re reading the Book. To say that I was disillusioned is an understatement, but a word for musicians if you are reading this testimony: Don’t let silence become your enemy because you refuse to listen.
It was the day the music died in me. And honestly, I can say that something else deep within me died as well.
The Perfect Rhythm
My wife and I separated and would remain that way for over 2 years. During that time, I went to find good reasons; good reasons because those thoughts really did cross my mind. After digging deep to find out my ‘Why’, I needed to also understand my ‘What’. I had no faith in love at this time because for me, man were entirely incapable of loving each other genuinely and fully, and that the greatest argument against the Christian God is how Christians ‘love’ each other. I studied anything and everything I could picking up the pieces of who I was to find out who I truly am. What blessed me more than what I read was what I wrote, for it confirmed a deep seated belief that my words were part of a cadence.
Don’t let silence become your enemy because you refuse to listen.
The Perfect Sound
Although I was regaining ground on who I was and rediscovering what my beliefs and my purpose were, I still found no real joy in music. I understand how weird that can be for musicians to hear. How can something so sacred become so worthless to someone? It’s easy for me to explain but I know it’s hard to comprehend the lies we tell ourselves about music. Apart from singing silly songs with Julia, my joy to create music again came from an unexpected source. You would think it would be from one of my peers. No, it would be from someone…if someone has the ability to reawaken the JedEye in you, they are a keeper.
Big Shout out to my brother Jordan Felisbret for making it into the Voice of Fire Choir. If you want to learn more about his journey, check out Voices of Fire on NetFlix. I like to take a pause here and say that I’m so proud of my music family; there’s quite a few of you up for Grammy’s this year that I’ve had the pleasure of working with. Congratulations! I do intend to do a better job at supporting you and having your voices heard. Remember there is infinitely more things to accomplish and explore through and beyond music. Don’t short change yourself by working hard for mere popularity and a graven image. If you find any value in these engrafted words, answer your higher calling.
The Perfect Pitch
And so here I write out my Manifesto regarding music. I know many of us are gifted and strive to worship God as authentically as they can. My hope is that in reading my intentions, you’ll see that I’m striving to do the same.
Find what is fulfilling
To receive, create, and be in awe of the whole note. The whole note; more than just a quadric symbol on staff paper. It is the iconic emblem representing the lifeblood of the Supreme Musician; His majestic ring of heavenly hosts; the greatest of orchestras and angelic of choirs, nourishing the devotee to the satisfaction of their soul. What essential ways will this be accomplished?
- Complete awareness of oneself and the sound: Kinesthesia, Syntonics, Mindfulness
- Thorough growth in both theory and practice; both in idiosyncratic and transpersonal performance.
- Complete reportorial studies including songwriting, composition, and orchestration.
- Musical therapy through sound and other transfers of energy; Reiki.
- Physics; analyzing the effect of sound and words on matter. – Manifestation
- Business development – the ability to develop systems to create wealth through music spiritually and physically
If somebody has the ability to awaken the JedEye in you, they are a keeper. Now you’re probably thinking one of four things: 1) This is the most boring thing I’ve ever heard 2) You have good intentions, but you’re crazy and you’ll never accomplish this 3) This is inspiring and I would love to join you in this endeavor or 4) You are nothing, you will never be anything and we will do anything to thwart your plans.
Pretty interesting right? And I think we understand why I would make this plan openly known. So that we’re clear and we know what it means for me/us to meet you/U in the middle. Assuming you want to do this journey with me. I’m not interested in returning back to doing gigs, merely entertaining people, or simply expressing myself. None of that.
This is about covenant for me. And I wanted to make sure this was finished on my wife’s birthday. Darling you know I love you and my intentions are pure even if they are still not fully understood. You know that I strive to protect our integrity. You know by now who been snooping into our business. At least one of us knows how to keep a code.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Col 3:16