Fateful rehearsal

Can small events influence our lives at large?

In spring 2000, my band was consisting of professional level musicians. It had two vocals, brass section and a base quartet: drums, bass, piano and guitar. Jobs were quite difficult to find, but the band played a gig every now and then. Not enough for the band to live, but too much to die. Considering the size of the band and relatively unpopular music genre — acid jazz — it’s no wonder that gigs were difficult to get.

I was continuously working on the arrangements. Since the band had a brass section (trumpet and trombone, sometimes also a sax), I was adding brass section parts to every song. It felt great to work on it and hear the songs boosted by the brass section.

The band played mostly covers, just to have something to play on the gigs. I was working on the originals in meantime. We already had five originals (our own songs) and getting new ones was a priority.

This is where a `single event’ comes up. We had a gig in a club, with a rehearsal in the morning, as usual. I have just printed all the parts for a new song and was very excited about rehearsing the best song I ever wrote. We tried some songs as a warm-up and everything was fine. I gave everybody their parts of the new song. Musicians studied the sheets for a while, nodded that they’re ready. I slowly counted in, the band started playing. Intro. First verse. Suddenly, something went wrong: one person missed a beat, or other one hit a wrong note. Whatever it was, the music stopped. It’s normal on the rehearsals and I was just about to count in again as usual, when somebody said that they don’t want to rehearse anymore. `Me too’, answered somebody else. I really wanted to rehearse this song, but it was no use to push. The rehearsal ended and we played the gig.

Excitement turned into frustration. The band never rehearsed this song again. I stopped writing brass sections and composing originals. The band got some more gigs, but I had no motivation anymore. Wanting to get some rest from the band, I bought a book about programming and spent my vacation reading it. I ended up in a information technology highschool and my music career ended.

Was really the unfortunate rehearsal the beginning of the end of my band? Or would the band collapse anyway? It seems like a stupid question, unless I realize that it changed my life completely.


Author: automatthias

You won't believe what a skeptic I am.

3 thoughts on “Fateful rehearsal”

  1. I’ve been thinking about it and the only comparison I have for my life is that, when leaving Germany in 2000, I was only planning to go abroad for 6 months and then return to Cologne. Via a number of circumstances, some of which were outside my control, I ended up staying and I’m still here!

    It was a sudden, unexpected turn my life took but not one that I consciously engineered. It was more like: it simply happened. I happened to stay for no particular reason (I didn’t fall in love or anything like that). Maybe in the way that you happened to read a book about programming and the band just happened to phase out after the unfortunate rehearsal.

    I don’t understand why you call it ‘_unfortunate_ rehersal’ – it implies that you’re unhappy with the way your life has turned out. Are you?

  2. I’m happy with the way my life has turned out. The rehearsal was unpleasant and made me unhappy at that time. Perhaps I should pick another word? Any suggestions?

  3. this is my THIRD attempt to reply. Whenever I accessed the reply function from within my own blog, the mouse caved in and stopped responding. It might be the fact that it’s wireless – I HATE wireless peripherals – and tht the batteries are dead. Have now connected an old skool mouse. Here’s my reply (if it crashes again, I’m not going to bother…)

    Given the question with which you started your post, “Can small events influence our life at large?”, I’d suggest ‘Fateful’. You seem to think that the rehearsal may have been instrumental or even the starting point in a series of events that eventually led you to become a CS guy instead of a musician. –> Fate.

    Also, ‘fateful’ is more neutral while ‘unfortunate’ seems to imply that to this day you feel that the event was an unfortunate one. I’d say that it probably wasn’t necessary unfortunate, given that you’re happy with how your life has turned out. Maybe it was unfortunate at the time (you were unhappy at the time) but today’s evaluation of the event isn’t really the same (luckily 🙂 ).

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