We have been in Austria for one week now, and have been having some truly great experiences. We’ve been welcomed here by all of the friends we made last year, and we’ve been making great new friends as well. We’ve played three gigs, each very different from the others, and each very fulfilling for us. Aside from our gigs, we’ve been catching up with our friends over coffee, beer, and lots of food, we have been soaking up all of the scenery around us by hiking, and we got a further education in music by visiting the Mozart Museums in Salzburg.
Possibly our favorite moment so far has been the Stammtisch in Trofaiach on Tuesday night. This word is used to describe a regularly scheduled, casual get together, usually around a round table. We don’t have an equivalent to this word in English, and we can say that we haven’t had an experience like this at home either. On Tuesday nights, the group gets together with acoustic guitars and binders full of songs to sing and play together. We played a combination of well know pop songs and traditional Austrian songs that we’ve never heard before. One of the main purposes of music is to make a connection with others, and that is exactly what happened with everybody sitting around the table. We were all connected and on the same wavelength, just being able to relax, blend, and play music together.
Another highlight of the night was hearing our friend, Lena, play the guitar and harmonica. We met Lena last year as she was beginning to learn the guitar. One year later, she has really advanced her skills, and is on her way to becoming a very well rounded musician who is able to adapt to different musical situations and different players. She sat in at a couple of our gigs, and played very well, but it wasn’t until the acoustic guitar circle that we were able to hear some of the details of what she was playing on the guitar. It’s exciting to see her dedication to the art and to watch her grow as a musician.
Music is universal, and is meant to be shared.