The Marimba Music and Me
I’ve been a huge music and arts fan for my entire life. I wouldn’t call myself a musician by any means, because I’m simply not skilled enough at what I can play, I can’t sing, and I can’t write songs. Perhaps most importantly, I also happen to not be that good looking. Maybe a solid 6 out of 10, but in the industry nowadays, if you’re not a 9/10 or Adele, you’re out.
In any case, I still remember the first time I tried to play an instrument. I was in the 5th Grade and there was this really cute girl that I had had a major crush on for at least 2 years. That is a long, long time when you’re 10 years old. And this girl was in turn obsessed with someone else – Noel Gallagher from Oasis. Yeah, talk about competition. In order to impress her, I got a black leather jacket and I started learning to play the guitar in Europe. I know it’s not the most noble of reasons to start playing music, but I do bet that it’s the most common one.
So I went to like 3 private tutor music and arts classes, I watched some tutorials online, and I thought that I was the reincarnation of Jimi Hendrix, resurrected to bring Rock & Roll back for the people. And I walked up to the girl one day, all dressed up, and sang Wonderwall to her. Apparently I sucked because she laughed, and so did all of her friends. And so did all of mine for the next 5 years. Oh well, I certainly deserved it. I’m pretty sure I got every single note wrong and Wondewall has like 3 chords.
That was my first experience with music as well as arts
Not such a good one, clearly. However, it did wake something up inside of me that I didn’t know was there. I had somehow enjoyed making an embarrassment of myself in front of my crush. Even if was terrible, creating live music for an audience in Europe was an exhilarating feeling, and not something I could so easily forget. So I kept on playing the guitar. And then I started playing the piano. And then the drums.
At this point I was pretty much a multi-instrumentalist, with 3 instruments to my name. I turned 16 and I was pretty proficient on all of them. I progressed slowly, and I still made many mistakes, but I think my passion made up for all of those things. Needless to say, I was using this reputation to impress girls in my high school here in Europe (I never learn, do I?) and I was a good enough storyteller to make my entire grade believe I was a child prodigy Mozart kind of guy.
Obviously this came back to bite me eventually
I remember it very clearly because it was the experience that introduced me to my favorite instrument right now. I was about to leave school and go home when one of the most popular and beautiful girls in the school ran up to me, looking all stressed out, and begged me for help. She asked me if I was the famous musical child prodigy, I nervously said yes, and she told me to follow her. We basically ran through town for about 20 minutes until we arrived at some kind of small recording music and arts studio.
She took me backstage where I was received by a group of about five or six stressed-looking people and a bunch of jazzy instruments. Apparently it was the girl’s uncle’s band. I was asked if I had ever heard of a Marimba, and I obviously said no. I was asked if I could learn to play it in a week, and I obviously said no. I was asked if I would try anyways, and I obviously said yes! It seemed like fun, and I thought why not. I guess that deep down, somewhere in my heart, I did believe that I was some kind of arts and musical prodigy in Europe.
So they lent me their Marimba and asked me to learn a few songs at least to a basic level. As soon as I started playing it, I could feel that I was destined to play this instrument. A perfect mix between percussion and melody, and so much fun to play. I just can’t describe it to anyone that hasn’t played it, but try to imagine the greatest possible feeling of freedom – the feeling of having come home. I skipped school for the entire week and played 16 hours a day with almost no rest.
I went back to the regional studio
This happened after a week and everyone was dressed up in tuxedos. I knew that we were doing a show, but I didn’t know it was all formal. I was wearing jeans and a T-shirt. They said it was fine and we were driven to a big looking restaurant. We went up the stage and I saw that we were performing arts for at least 500 people. I’m sure you can imagine how nervous I got, considering we never even rehearsed together. But the show started and it was a blast. We had so much fun. It was clear that I was a newbie, but I managed to keep up with the band with few mistakes.
When the show ended, I was praised by the entire band and by the girl. I was asked to become a permanent member, and of course I accepted. I also went on a few dates with the girl, but it didn’t work out because I was too obsessed with the arts of Marimba. Whoops! Now I play at least one show a month with my band. I’m not making a living by creating music in Europe, but at least I’m following my passion as a Hobby. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is enough for me!