I'm a musician. Music is my happy place. No matter what mood I'm in, grabbing my guitar or sitting at my piano (among other instruments) while singing brings me back to my center. I started playing piano at age 7 when my parents bought one and signed my sister & I up for lessons. Violin joined in on the fun when I was in 4th grade (mandatory elementary music class) and I fell in love with it. I played violin all the way to college, and was the first chair/concertmaster in high school.
It was my first semester of my freshman year of college when guitar entered my life. (17 years ago!) Growing up my dad was always playing guitar. We went to many of his bands gigs and I remember just sitting and listening to him play & sing all the time and loving every minute of it (I still do!!). I remember the moment clearly in my head when I decided guitar was going to be my musical love. It was at a college-age church retreat (shoutout to all my lifelong Vocare friends!) and there was a small group of acoustic guitarists playing music throughout the weekend. I knew I wanted to be a part of that music team. Not sure if you've ever tried, but singing while playing violin isn't an easy feat. The whole chin rest part gets in the way. I asked a few of the musicians to teach me how to play some basic chords on their guitars (thanks Greg, Alex & Julia!) and I was truly surprised at how quickly I picked it up & memorized the chords & chord patterns. I like to thank my strict musical theory upbringing between years & years of piano & violin lessons for that. It's also not recommended nor practical to bring a violin to a church bonfire either. Guitars are so much easier. Haha! I still played violin mostly for fun here & there (besides a few weddings I played at) but guitar was quickly taking over and I was okay with that. My faith has been incredibly strengthened over the years through music. One of my best friends in the whole world Alex, once told me "when you sing you pray twice" and that has really stuck with me still to this day almost 20 years later. I feel super connected to God through music. I've played on worship teams for 17 years now and absolutely love every minute of it. It's not about the performance. It's about the experience & connecting people to Christ through music.
Christian music isn't the only music I play. Not in the least. I'm a hardcore U2 super fan. I've seen them live more times than I can count and coming from a large extended awesome Irish family I have pretty much been a fan since birth.
When we first moved here (almost 4 months ago! Can you believe it?!) I was eager to jump on the worship team at our new church home, The Well and have been in the rotation to sing & play during worship services ever since.
Outside of playing in church, I hadn't picked up my guitar to play just for me since we arrived in Huntington. We have just been so busy with renovations etc that I hadn't really allowed myself time to just play. Atom & I have been planning and talking about the music studio we eventually plan to create up on the 4th floor long before we even moved here, but that's awhile off in the future.
I had some time this afternoon to pull out my guitar and play. I've been dying to test out all of the acoustics in the different areas of the building. There's nothing quite like standing on a stage in a symphony hall with perfect acoustics and physically feeling the music as you're playing it. I already knew the kitchen has incredible acoustics from singing in there many times while cooking. The ceilings are very high and with all of the metal in there the sound is on point. The green hallway between the kitchen & the open part of the basement also has fantastic sound.
The basement itself has potential. It's not bad & there is a pretty good amount of echo but not enough to give goosebumps or anything like that.
We will be pulling down all of the acoustical ceiling tiles to give the basement more of an open industrial concept & painting the ceiling/pipes/ducting matte black. I'm confident it will open up the acoustic sound so much more.
I was pleasantly surprised with the third floor former grand lodge room. I wasn't convinced the sound would be as good up there due to the carpeting that covers every square inch of the floor, stage and stairs. Don't get me wrong, when we hooked up the projector with the sound system to watch Star Wars up there over the weekend it sounded incredible, but I'm more referring to the natural sound. It will all eventually be removed to finish & seal the original hardwood floors that are underneath. I walked around & sat in many different chairs both on the ground level and the 4th level stadium seats to see the difference. The Freemasons definitely knew what they were doing (duh) when they built the building. The sound is unreal. The hugely tall ceilings that are domed really allows the sound to bounce all over.
Since I was already on the third floor I went in another room that we have dubbed "the Egyptian room", and I was also pleasantly surprised with the acoustics in there. It's still a rather large room, probably 14×20 or so and has high ceilings. Pretty much the entire building has high ceilings everywhere.
Walking around my house playing guitar & singing from room to room definitely helped me stop and take a breather from all the business of life lately. I'm definitely going to make it a point to do it more often. Next time I'll walk around with my violin to test the acoustics and hear any differences. I'm also staring to brainstorm a few ideas for community open mic nights & jam sessions. Stay tuned!