By: AJ Bigler
A steel town in Ohio, where visions are incubated, nourished and caressed, into real things in a 19 year old zmind. Then life comes along, and they are slowly choked to death, babies, sagging fences, and broke down cars. They wind up buried in a dark corner of the garage underneath a box of snapshots; consisting of graduations, and a trip or two to Yellowstone.
Only we can decide if what we gained is worth what we lost. Beautiful granddaughters, family reunions, lying in a bed at night with your significant other, quietly speaking your minds.
The songs never written, the novels you didn’t write, perhaps paintings you might have created. Unless of course, you are blessed beyond all measure and are given the time after your family has grown and you can do these things in your 60s or 70s. That is more than you have a right to expect, so if you get the chance, take full advantage, it cannot be called anything but a gift from God.
A FEW THOUGHTS
A FEW THOUGHTS
By: AJ Bigler
The utter immensity of the universe is completely beyond our ability to grasp in our present state of being. The mystery of God and the is, is complete. We are a tiny sliver of the 7 billion people on the third little blue dot that orbits an average size star about ¾ of the of the way out of a galaxy with 200 billion stars. It is but one of the hundreds of billions of galaxys that we know of. The new telescope might show us more of them or objects we have yet to conceive.
There are those who would say that there are innumerable universes that that exchange the electrons in the atoms that make up the matter that we conceive ourselves to be. The wonder of that gives me awe, gratitude, and a sense of importance.
We are a wonder, each of us, with our ideas visions and concepts that are constantly changing within us. To me it is a grand collage of life, whatever meaning we attach to the word.
As an infinitesimally small portion of all of this, we might think we are insignificant. I would argue that we are extraordinarily precious. That I have been able learn we are still the only life form that can tie a shoe. Then again, back to that immensity thing.
Our little planet is about 4 billion years old, each of us might live on it for 8 or 9 decades. An eyeblink, then we go on to other adventures. Now add to the fact that we are connected to all of this, every ameba and blue whale. My 2 cents worth added to our thoughts
By: AJ Bigler
The bus could barely move, all I wanted to do was get home, I had been on my feet for eight hours at work, and I wanted a soft couch and a stupid TV show. The sidewalks on Broadway could not hold one more soul, they were completely jammed. It was CMA week in Nashville Tennessee, and people had come from every corner of the earth to be a part of a completely unique celebration.
Nashville is indeed a magic place. This is the town that calls itself music city, and nowhere else does the term fit, or is even applied. New York is Wall Street and the theatre, but it does call itself Theatre city, LA is Hollywood, but it does not call itself movie city. There are too many other things in these places that would not allow them to do such a thing; they are both, a megopolis, so the terms would not fit. Nashville on the other hand is a medium size town that has many other things going on also, but somehow the term fits, and the CMA festival is proof of it.
Could there be a rock and roll festival where people come from all over the world to see almost every major Rock Star? Too many fights. Is there a Hip HOP festival, where fans come from all over the world to see almost every rap and hip hop star? Too much ego, too much gun play. Only country music is close enough to its fans to do something anywhere near this. It is magic, and this is a magic place.
People come from every corner of the globe with their songs on a CD or a guitar on their back to throw in their talent and see if they can get a spot at the poker table. The odds are about 10,000 to one against them, and most of the people who come here know it, and yet here they are. There is a friendly comradery that pervades through the songwriting community, especially among the 98 percent of the people who have no chance, and yet they try anyway. I never could decide if it was delusion or immense faith. I think the two go hand in hand, the successful writers I know, were both things until they got their first hits, then you can leave out the delusional part. For most of us, both words still apply.
There are little boxes in some of the major music companies where any schnook can leave a CD of their songs. I know one guy at one of them who told me that about 2000 songs a week go through their business. He had no reason to deceive me, so I will say he is about right. These people know that 90% of the hits are written by 1% of the writers, but still they keep those boxes in the lobby, they know very well that what they are looking for most; just might show up.
And so I stay in Nashville Tennessee, knowing I am still in the 98%. And yet somehow I feel it in my corpuscles, that some of the songs I have deserve to be heard, and will benefit the world if they are. Delusion and immense faith still apply here. If I am lying to myself, it would behoove us both if you were to go to my website aj-bigler.com/music, and listen to a song or two for at least a verse and a chorus, and leave me a comment. Just tell me what you really think, do not spare my feelings, my mother will do that, and I expect it from her. I neither desire nor expect it from you.
Nashville is a medium sized town that has an impact on our culture that far exceeds its size. We do it for real here, and I love that idea. I have no place at the table, but a miracle could change that on any given day. I still hang on to the belief that if some of this music found a home with a great artist, I could have my hit, maybe even sit at the table and be a worthy contributor. We all must earn the right to be heard, 80% hard work 15% talent, 5% luck, it is the magic formula, all success is built on it.
PLEASE tell me if you think I am wrong. Aj-bigler.com/music
By: AJ Bigler
Take your victories when and where you can. If you are reaching for a goal or trying to become better at some skill or another, your mistakes will make it seem like what you are trying to do is impossible.
If you did it a little better today than you did yesterday, that’s progress , allow yourself to declare a victory. If you’re a little closer to your goal than you were yesterday, that is a victory. It is how you keep your hand in play, no matter how insignificant it might seem to anyone outside of you, it is still yours. No one has to know anything about it, it is yours. No, it’s not a thing that causes you to spike the football and do a touchdown dance, but still, it is yours. When you add up enough of these, the day may come when you do that very thing. Even if it never happens, you can still celebrate your victory quietly, on the stage you have made in your mind.
You haven’t smashed the atom or won the super bowl, but, it is enough for you to quietly look at your personal accomplishment, smile, and say well done. No one ever needs to know but you. And if you are wise, it will be enough to live a very good life.
Not to say that you should turn away from worldwide adoration and or millions of dollars.
So beating my head against the wall trying to play one of Beethoven’s simplest pieces, leads me to the conclusion, I am way out of my league. So again, the question remains why?
I will tell you, because when it gets somewhere in the vicinity of right, I am in awe of what Beethoven did with his chord structure, his melodies, his note placement. It makes me wonder, if it is so simple and profound, is there something to be learned by doing this? The answer of course is a resounding yes. It is intimidating and inspiring at the same time, a schnook like me taking lessons from Beethoven! I doubt if I will ever get it right, but making slow progress helps me to understand his music, and more importantly, my own. I find myself using some of his tricks with my own songs, and that is an amazing thing to contemplate.
The masters have a way of taking the simple and making it sublime, their music helps us understand that what pours from the soul of a human being, can have a profound effect on many other souls, mine certainly included. It is still my hope that I may have such an effect with some of my songs.
“She looked alright by dawns early light” the opening line of “independence day”, by Gretchen Peters, she is one of the greats in our time. Her songs should be studied carefully by anyone who wants to write songs, and is serious about it. There is a short list of these people, Gretchen included, who can, in my opinion, put their songs and music on the same shelf Beethoven is on . These are people who can teach me much, and I intend to learn many lessons from them.
So I listen to and learn music from the greats, and find myself enriched. So regardless of any top ten hits I don’t have yet, and my plodding along on the piano, I find myself in awe. That is enough reason for me to get it wrong so many times on the piano.