Once in a Lifetime Concert


The theater: Italian renaissance decor as envisioned by the 1920’s American Midwest.  The player: The fastest violinist in the world…and his rock band.  (Incidentally, I now think every classical musician  deserves a rock band).

David Garrett, Music Live tour at the State Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

When my friend said she had an extra ticket for a David Garrett concert, she was lucky that I actually knew who he was, and I only knew who he was through Facebook.  About a year ago, someone shared a video of him playing and I was hooked: Master violinist restyled as a rock star, and also easy on the eyes in a rather scruffy, Kurt Cobain-like way.

From 80’s rock themes to tangos to Gypsy folk tunes, the concert was truly amazing, a once in a lifetime experience.  The theater only holds about 2,000 or so people, so it afforded a more intimate experience than other venues.  The playing and the decor evoked images of the 1700’s, and I imagine Mr. Garrett would fit very well back in that time if he happened to fall into a time machine and be trapped there indefinitely.

The concert, though, brought back a memory to me of another once in a lifetime violin concert that I went to a couple of years ago.  The violinist was an old friend of the family, now grown up to be a teenager, and her playing at the chapel at our local Bethany Lutheran College brought to tears to my eyes.  I don’t know if I will ever get to hear Miriam, or, more properly, Sonoko Miriam Shimano Welde, play again, or David Garrett for that matter.  Both were obviously gifted children, and I for one am glad that they’ve decided to share their gift with the world.  How many people have incredible talent and never share it, never work at, never become masters of that talent?

Mr. Garrett shared a few humorous stories of life on the road and the loneliness it can bring.  Pursuing art can be difficult for many, I think, because for most arts there is isolation involved.  I’ve found this to be true in writing.  You can’t get very far talking about writing, you just have to write.  The same goes for music, you just have to play and practice.  The practice, especially, is where the solitary factor comes in.

In watching a concert, the musicians make it look so easy, but countless hours upon hours of practice have built up to that amazing moment.  Hours and perhaps time spent away from loved ones that the audience can barely comprehend.  Whether in mastering a symphony, or writing an epic poem, or inventing a light bulb, or leaving home and family to serve the poor in body and spirit, sacrifice is always involved.  We give something up, personal comfort, time, or money, for something greater than ourselves.  That time of sacrifice is the awesome part, the “journey” part of our life’s quest.  That journey is what makes us all unique, all “once in the universe” people.  No one either before or after us will have the exact same life history, the same pursuits, the same pleasures, or the same connections with people around them.  We are all unique, yet we’re all the same in being unique.  A sort of paradoxical state of being, but there you have it.

And, now that I’m done with my rambling, I’m going to go and do some actual story writing and continue on my own personal journey and epic quest.  I salute violinists everywhere and wish I could be one of you, but I’ll settle for being a writer and a somewhat mediocre piano player.  Although, someday, I just might write an epic novel about dueling, magical violinists…who are also sword fighters…and who time travel.  Don’t put it past me, because this journey isn’t done yet.

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