Lost and Found
From a young age I have always loved music. On my mother’s side of the family I have always been engaged in watching brass bands. My mother’s family was incredibly attached to brass band music and would have a brass band record on repeat most nights where family friends and neighbors would come over to listen to or play brass band music. I distinctly remember my aunt, though she was really only my neighbor, had the most raucous laugh when she would hear her favorite brass tune.
This addiction to brass band music really began at a very formative and young age for me. As such, my love for brass music was really just something that was in my blood! As such, my passion for brass music has driven me to many places, emotionally and literally. Emotionally, many of my nights studying as a student in high school or college were driven by continuous brass band listening sessions for hours.
After graduating and working for a spell, I was compelled by the music even still. Now however, I want more than to just listen to a record or an .mp3 of brass band music. I want to feel the music! I want to be surrounded by the sound, to be enriched by the emotional quality of the brass band sound!
As such, it has become my new goal to travel the country and encounter as many brass bands as I can. I need to fuel this need I have in my gut and in my soul that I need to be a part of the brass band community. The brass band community is itself, somewhat reclusive. Because of the unfortunate waning popularity of brass band music, it is difficult to find enclaves of like-minded brass band enthusiasts to enjoy the genre with.
So, in my journey across the country, a road trip of sorts, I have to take time to visit local bars and cafes where people from the scene may frequent. I often have to speak with several people until I get to someone who can point me to a local venue. Of course, I have the internet and can do some preliminary research on my own time but it is always much more helpful to refer to locals who appreciate brass band music for the good stuff. I am very seldom let down by these people who help me out on my nomadic journey.
You may think, do I ever get lonely on this journey? And the answer is yes. I am frequently reminded of how alone one can be in enjoying a specific or arcane genre of music. But it is all made well when I am reminded of the warm sense of community and sense of familial belonging I have when I make it to a concert. The events always remind me how close the brass band community is and how we always accept others and outsiders even if they are not our own.
Sometimes I event think I can hear my aunt’s raucous laughter in the crowd, I often look around somewhat startled and shocked, looking for her face or her recognizable hair. She is never there, she still lives in my hometown of course, but she always seems to be with me in some capacity. So yes, I do often feel alone, but only for spells, only in-between concerts or events. The quiet of being alone is often a pleasant pause between the cacophonous joy the band provides.
Traveling to see these bands has made me learn a lot about myself and my life. I feel that I have grown so much from where I have come from, from who I used to be. I am truly brought to life by brass band music and I couldn’t realize that until I could take the time to spend my current life traveling and looking for these communities. In becoming closer to my roots in this case, I have grown an even greater appreciation for the genre, the community and those who have raised me.
I have always loved brass band music and always will and truly it is no surprise that I have found myself in something I have always been surrounded by.