“On the run”: Jesse James, Bonnie & Clyde and … Dan

To our astonishment, Dan Brenden dropped in to our most recent Bach-‘n-All™, and listened to us play music for a while! He’s been on the run, again. Since we’ve known him, which has been quite a few years, now, it’s seemed as though he’s always been on the run, at least until the law drags him back in. Now, quite a few of the folks who attend our Bach-‘n-Alls™ have a truly profound relationship to music. Almost everyone has some type of music which is their favorite. But not Dan. Mostly, he’s not even interested in sounds. When music is happening, Dan’s only listening for one thing: a run of notes. He says that a run of notes, any run of notes, gives him hope. But after a while, as is his wont, Dan stole one last glance at the piano, and made his getaway into the night. (Dan usually doesn’t take off unless he hears a gunshot. Jesse James, and Bonnie and Clyde, would have been embarrassed to start running if a gun went off … I mean, their inclination was to shoot back! But Dan seems to feel that, if a gun is fired, heck, even a gun which is probably only shooting blanks, the best thing he can do is to put as much distance as possible between himself and the shooter. To each his own, I suppose. But for folks who spent literally years “on the run,” it might have been a lot smarter for Jesse and Bonnie and Clyde to have responded to guns in the way Dan’s tended to. I mean, Dan probably won’t ever have the sort of records for robbing banks, or even service stations, that Jesse and Bonnie and Clyde did. But Dan’s got a few records of his own, after all, and he’s managed to live a lot longer than they did. Despite the law!)

We Rice Brothers played music for folks for the better part of four hours, as we do at just about all of our Bach-‘n-Alls™, and, for the most part, everyone was pretty attentive. Of course, “attentive” is a relative thing, and, in any case, even though we’re mostly classical musicians, we don’t ask people to try to swim up-current against their attention spans. It’s fine with us if people talk to one another, and enjoy the host’s epicurean offerings, while we play music. Our goal is that everyone is thoroughly steeped in our music, and for that to happen, they just need to be sitting close enough to the piano. The resonance of our playing is easily strong enough for folks to be thoroughly shaken and stirred. The challenge for every True Musician is that, when people go back to “real life,” they will interact with one another in harmonious ways, even if they’ve never once done that before, and maybe that they’ll even begin to get the knack of resolving dissonances. It’s not enough for a person to leave “humming the tune they heard” … they’ve got to be vibrating differently!

Bach-‘n-Alls™ being, after all, full of strange creatures beyond count, tune-bits must seem of little importance, sometimes. I mean, for example, Dee was there, as usual, at this last Bach-‘n-All™, and of course her presence is almost always a Blessing to everyone. Dee is a lot like Edith Bunker, for y’all dear readers who are old enough to understand the reference. It can be a little unpredictable, a little hard to know in advance, exactly which of Dees memories will spring forth, Vaudeville-style, in response to a musical phrase. This time, Dee happened to be reminded of dude ranches she had experienced. Except… Everyone thought that, instead of saying “dude,” she’d said “nude.” And, in Dee’s inimitable way of constructing a series of sentences, every next word out of her mouth reinforced that misimpression. (Several of the more conservative parents in the room quickly hustled their children out of ear-shot of the discussion.) But… Well, it’s worth coming to a Bach-‘n-All™ just to meet Dee, even if you really don’t like music. I mean, there may be a period of time during which a conversation’s naked truth spirits you entirely away from the music. But if you scratch the surface a bit… Uhm, never mind, don’t scratch the surface, but do come and get to know Dee, and the other amazing members of the Bach-‘n-All™ community. True, most of them are stranger than fiction, but their lives, each and every one, are filled with “beautiful music,” even though only a handful of them play instruments and the like.

Besides, if you don’t come to the Bach-‘n-Alls™, you won’t be there when Pastor Al finally succeeds in getting the congregation to install a hot tub and an expresso machine near our piano in the fellowship hall!

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