Like an old Sabbath

A few weeks back, I was invited to do special music for the church I’ve been attending since I arrived in Houston. Given that I really had not other performance opportunities in sight, I accepted.

I haven’t played much, and I have honestly felt the void. On Monday, I had an excellent practice session. It was productive and fun—one of those you don’t get all the time. Then on Wednesday, while preparing the piece for Sabbath, I hated my guts because my altissimo register just plain sucked (that’s what practicing is more like on a daily basis).

So even though I generally don’t play music outside of the classical genre, I looked forward to performing once more, to feeling those nerves and the adrenaline, to enjoy being shaken by the beauty of music.

My faith has been faltering; my spirit has struggled with finding purpose, my self-esteem with the ever-challenging demands and expectations of a PhD program. But today, playing for the worship service at the West Houston Seventh-day Adventist Church, I felt fulfilled. Making music, participating in worship, if only for a moment, I was home.

The Sabbath closes and I thank God for a much-needed reminder of who He is even as I am overwhelmed with, not doubt, but questions. And I am grateful for another chance to make and share music. I needed it.

#024 – Trudy Holmes-Caines

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I sat down with Dr. Trudy Holmes-Caines before leaving Lincoln, Neb., and had a wonderful conversation for this podcast. She is a professor of psychology at Union College who came to the United States to pursue graduate studies. We discussed her life in Jamaica and how language plays a role in one’s identity, as well as how the immigrant cultures differ from the culture in their respective countries of origin.

#019 – Hannah Ashburn

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This week on the podcast we have Hannah Ashburn. She is an artist finishing up her college degree and finding what the next step is. Besides talking about what it is like to grow up white and how creepy I think Gothic paintings are, we tried to discuss the intersection between various art forms and history. Perhaps I shouldn’t talk about things I don’t know, but here we go!

Check out our book recommendation from our previous episode: Sonia Nazario’s Enrique’s Journey

#003 – Home (Ricky Amimo)

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I just got back from my summer vacation. It’s that time of the year when the ones so fortunate to still measure their lives in semesters and breaks return to their “busy” lives. To many, myself included, that means being away from home.

That’s what today’s episode is about. Missing home. Why do we miss home? Is it the food, the people or something else? First, we’ll listen to a series of recording I did while I was at the airport this past weekend. The second part of the episode is a conversation I had with Ricky Amimo last Sunday. He talks about home.

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Note: the audio file is an m4a. You shouldn’t have a problem with it. If you do, contact me and I can send you an mp3 file. Although I wanted to upload an mp3 file for greater compatibility, the m4a offered similar file size with higher quality at the same bit rate.