|photo by Martin Stork|
Nevertheless, I played the set I'm working on for a forthcoming busking engagement at the beginning of June, and it went seriously well - that is, it had the desirable combination that the audience thought it did, I thought it did, and Clare (my best critic) thought it did. I felt, for the first time there, very relaxed about playing. At some level, I'm sure I was still anxious - by the end of the set, sweat was starting to drip off my nose - but whatever tension was causing it didn't seem to interfere with playing.
Due to the sparsity of attendance, we finished early, and after a useful chat about promotion and similar issues I went down to the rival engagement, the Topsham Folk Club, had a pint there (it was too late to play, as they schedule the lineup very early), then went next door to the Lighter Inn. There I got into conversation with some other people who'd moved on from the Folk Club, and it led to their requesting a brief demo of the bayan. We got dispensation from the bar manager, so I played my party piece, Ástor Piazzolla's Libertango. Again, it went extremely well despite my being a trifle ... errrm, discoordinated ... from the couple of beers earlier. The outcome was a commitment to go and play at next week's Folk Club session - and we have potential attenders for the next TOPJAM.
For a couple of months, I've been feeling pretty disconsolate about progress with the bayan - I'd hit the wall of starting to get middling-good, but being dragged down by repeated fumbles due to performance anxiety - so this was a highly encouraging evening. Good result. I'll get some current pieces up on YouTube soon.