This past weekend I had the great pleasure to perform at a very unique event. It was called Old Words: Stories in Music, Poetry and Prose. It was a variety show. It was the first night of an ongoing series. And it was amazing.
The evening started with a Leonard Cohen song (complete with an introduction in his best Leonard speaking voice), performed by the event host and organizer Adrian Parks. You could feel the room beginning to soften, as if preparing to open up to exploring the night’s theme of relationships a little more deeply.
And then it was time to laugh. Several comedians graced the stage, shared their relationship stories, and made the entire room laugh so hard it hurt.
There was poetry about heartbreak. There were stirring musical performances (including an impromptu performance by an audience members during one of the night’s intermissions). There was more comedy.
By the time it was my turn to take the stage, I felt lucky just to have been in the audience with such an appreciative crowd, let alone perform for them. I played three songs from Directions Home, each one about a different type of relationship. I don’t know if it was the audience, the stories I told about the feelings behind each song, or the songs themselves, but something clicked.
It’s difficult to put my finger on it exactly, but I just felt like the audience ‘got it.’ They were right there with me. Everyone has had relationships where the felt they couldn’t do anything right, where they needed to let someone go, or where they needed to accept themselves. That’s what those songs are about and the audience understood.
Many of us lingered long after the performances were done, chatting about life and relationships, food and fashion, comedy and courage. Speaking with almost everyone there I realized that feeling I had was right. They did ‘get it.’ As a songwriter, that’s about all one can hope for. When your words and music land in just the right way that people understand what it is you are trying to say, well, there’s just no better feeling than that.
The night was a complete success in this performer’s opinion; a perfect fusion of old words and new friends.
Check out the facebook group to find out about future events at https://www.facebook.com/groups/215368025513351/