Tuesday, December 08, 2009

BloG #41: Thoughts 'From The Road'

Cool title, yeah? hahaha.... Yep, life on the ol' road. Okay, so I'm not on the road, as it were. But, one of my daughters observed last night that I am on somewhat of a tour with this Fall series of concerts, so there you go.

Here are the Fall 09 tour dates that have been keeping me occupied:
12/17/2009 Christmas Performance
Venue: Eagle Public Library
*Location: 600 Broadway; Eagle, CO - 7:00 pm

12/13/2009 Showcase Performance
Venue: Carbondale Community United Methodist Church
*Location: 385 S 2nd St; Carbondale, CO - 4:00 pm

--featuring guest performances by: Soprano Soloist Bridget Baker, Rod & Trish Andersen, Emily Van Devender, Grace Van Devender, Soprano Soloist Annie Lee
12/06/2009 Showcase Performance
Venue: Rifle United Methodist-Presbyterian Church
*Location: 200 E 4th St; Rifle, CO - 7:00 pm

--featuring guest performances by: ArtillumA: (Jordon Churchill, Blair Bracken, Landon Churchill, Taylor Churchill, Michael Churchill), Joe Napier, Emily Van Devender, Grace Van Devender, Soprano Soloist Annie Lee
11/29/2009 Showcase Performance
Venue: All Saints Episcopal Church
*Location: 150 Sipprelle Drive; Battlement Mesa, CO - 4:00
--featuring guest performances by: Emily Van Devender, Grace Van Devender, Soprano Soloist Annie Lee
11/21/2009 Vendor Sale/Showcase Performance
Venue: Rifle United Methodist-Presbyterian Church-Lovell building
*Location: 200 E 4th St; Rifle, CO - 7:00 pm
11/15/2009 Showcase Performance
Venue: First United Methodist Church
*Location: 824 Cooper Av; Glenwood Springs, CO - 4:30
--featuring guest performances by: Grace Van Devender, Emily Van Devender, Kyle Snyder, Methodist Youth Jam: (Kyle Snyder, Kevin Snyder, Angela Frale, Joel Dane, Melanie Rossow), Stefani Maurice, Steve Shute, Jan Shute
10/24/2009 Open Mic Headline Performance
New Castle River Center Shalom Ministries
*Location: Downtown New Castle, CO - 7:00pm

This particular leg of the journey is winding down but I have the desire to share a few thoughts before it wraps up, so here goes.

I feel blessed!
This 'tour' has been invigorating on so many levels. Each showcase performance date has been arranged to include fellow musicians/performers from that particular locale where the performance is set. I set it up that way for several reasons. Key among them is an item in the mission statement for JavaMusiK. "...To foster and encourage fellowship through music." Here's what I have seen happening with that: An underlying dialogue begins to take place. This happens in the planning stages, but also during the concert itself. A synergy between the performers builds prior to the show and spills over into the performance and is eventually experienced in harmony with the audience. As the instigator, I feel totally energized by this. To witness the fellowship/relationship building that takes place as a result of my efforts and music is fulfilling and inspiring. To see all these people take time out of their routine and come together to share in a moment of nothing but music for a little while makes me happy.

I feel humbled.
As of this writing, the number of musicians/performers who have contributed &/or taken part in the concerts I've organized has been right at 20 over the course of 4 showcase concerts, several of whom have appeared at multiple dates. The talent that has been involved is so diverse and inspiring. Each individual/group has brought something unique and positive to the table giving each show a flavor of it's own and bringing much joy and quality entertainment to the audience. To follow these musicicans and performers has required me to step up my own game and hopefully make me better. The talent that I have had the priviledge to witness at each stop is a testament to what is out there and I am glad that this series is giving them an opportunity to shine and share their light with others. That, in & of itself, makes these concerts worthwhile.

I feel tired.
Truly, I do. Unfortunately, this particualr series is happening and doubling right during my school concert season. The same week I had my first showcase concert, I had four separate school concerts with two different groups. This week is bookmarked by two of my own shows with two school concerts in the middle. Each event is physically and mentally demanding on it's own accord. To organize and be responsible for each program is exhausting. So much work goes into the planning, rehearsing & performance of the show. Then, the actual performance takes you so high. To come down the other side after it is finished takes the wind out of you for a while. This concert season has forced me to turn around and get right back on the horse the next day. No time or rest for the wicked, as they say. Nice idea, but here's my quandary. I have long been blessed with the curse of being a night owl. After a full day at work, time with family, etc., I just need time for myself. Clear the thoughts, etc.. During the time leading up to a concert, my mind races so much that I cannot sleep. Then, I may get exhausted enough after a concert to sleep well the night following a show, but I often spend so much time analyzing what took place that sleep will be somewhat disrupted for the successive several nights thereafter. During this current concert season, my legs are struggling to keep up with the schedule and I'm feeling it. We won't even discuss the accompanying migraines...

I feel inspired.
To watch and listen to each individual/group that has participated in these events has been a gift for me. To see and hear how these events have touched other people is a gift for me. To have my daughters involved and performing at each event has been a gift for me. To see people actually buy my cd's and tell me later they play them all the time is a gift to me. To see the smiles on people, to see them close their eyes and just listen, to hear them laugh at my stories or stupid jokes and to just have them there is a gift for me. Each one of these items inspires me and makes me wish to continue this ministry. I truly love doing this.

In the end, I feel invigorated.
Have I mentioned I love doing this?
Every single thing about JavaMusiK brings happiness to me. I absolutely love it. If I could figure out a way to increase it's revenue stream to where I could quit my job, I would give it some serious consideration because I do love it so much. It is my own creation and nobody else's. It originates from me. (I hesitate to say there is divine intervention involved, though I would like to think that there is. This topic, I will save for a future writing however. Only because I have many thoughts about that and this writing is going long the way it is. Suffice it to say, that I do believe my Creator is involved and deserves all due credit & He is not forgotten. Just not sure my music is worthy to hold such a distinction.) I don't punch in to a time clock. I don't have to answer to a boss. If I don't like something, I can throw it out and not have to tell anyone why I did so. It is all about my music. I choose everything involved with it. Every decision is made by me. Every sale, person that comes to listen to a concert, person who chooses to listen to my music at a given time of day, company that chooses to use my music for their project, etc., is a validation of the efforts that have gone into this project. The growth of JavaMusiK has been slow, but continual. The body of work is something that brings me absolute pride and joy. From these things, I truly feel invigorated and blessed because JavaMusiK is completely about the music. The possibilities are endless!

I look forward to continuing this next year and am excited about the possibilities. The release of 'Don't Ever Forget' has brought a feverish pace to the last couple of months. If I don't get out & promote, no one becomes aware of my music & the product doesn't sell. Meanwhile, it is because of the music that new directions and positive developments can move forward. I like that.

I hope I get to see you along the way. In the meantime, discover your passion and stay happy!

Jeff Van Devender

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