'Shedding, Continued


Footpath at the end of my cobblestoned street.


In my last post, I addressed the vexing first world problem of deciding which instrument I should take with me on vacation. Now here I am without any instruments at all, having moved a week ago to Kaiserswerth, an improbably picturesque village on the outskirts of Düsseldorf. God willing, our shipment comes in toward the end of the month, with a new keyboard, my guitar, and my mandolin.

In the meantime…


I’m not on vacation, per se, but as I am not yet employed, don’t know anyone, and don’t speak German, despite all it takes to set up life in a new country I have some free time. So after three days I had the Joneses bad, but now my routine includes walking over to my wife’s school every day after hours and practicing on a decent keyboard in an empty cafeteria. I’ve never valued the ability to practice without distraction so much. It’s… delicious.


For several months before I left the states I put a new level of work into voice; in preparation for my trio recording at first, but after the session I kept up the daily routine (all credit to my voice teacher, Donna Jewell), and now back at the flat here, which has little but white walls and ceiling and the requisite IKEA sofabed, I continue to train, with just a tuner app for reference. I’ve never worked strictly a cappella like this. Warm-ups, sure, but then I’ve always accompanied myself at the piano (or bass or accordion, etc). I am learning what can be accomplished singing in an empty room. I’ve never lived this simply, and–again– I am really appreciating this (dare I say golden?) opportunity to work on my craft.

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