Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Trombonists Son Learned The Beats by Ron Saturno

My Dad was a trombone player. He sang with a professional voice. I can still hear his voice sometimes while walking around the house. He played some of the better venues in the 40's. When he was a 16 year old kid while in Hawaii someone had decided that he would play the trombone in order to fill out a make do band on a sugar plantation in Hawaii. I never got to hear him play a trombone, but was rasied on his great voice. In better days he might have become a noted singer. He was the one who started teaching me about music, although my training was with a retired Nun and a Baby Grand. Angel Cabales finished my classical music training. Lest anyone not know of my teacher: He was a truly gift Escrima Maestro who waved a very gifted stick. Many may not see any connection between an Escrima stick and music. They could not be more wrong. My rather inept knowledge of Escrima truly puts me in the back row of the Escrima Musicians Band. A third or fourth chair Escrima Band Member and I say this, because I've barely learned how to play with my stick on the off- beat. Oh, I'm good on the beat, but truly becoming a Maestro with your stick requires perfecting the off-beat and you're being able to effortlessly put your personal interpretation into your creativity and still remain true to your sheet music of survival. Some of this and some of that, some of the time is much harder than I could have ever imagined. To have stood near my teacher and in front of him and getting lessons in timing was truly priceless and something that I have honored and cherished for many a year now. Teaching what I gleaned from Angel Cabales has been my primary life focus. To be able to distill the totality of a very gifted martial artist and pass it on has not only been hard, but very challenging as well. To date, there has not been one of my students who I feel truly understands the truly gifted teacher that was mine and many others. Angel Cabales had MoJo. Just describing MoJo is an effort in itself, than teaching it becomes just that much harder. I do see a lot of men swinging sticks. Some talk a lot of shit before they start swinging and afterwards as well. As if that is truly needed. Now don't get me wrong, as an initial part of intimidation: I do get it. But, what I am talking about is walking up to another man and making your martial arts discourse with that other man a very part of the musical fabric of the Universe. For that moment of time, the performance that is transpiring between you and the other man becomes noted in the annals of time. It is not for anyone else, but your posterity. You will have made your mark, scratched the 33 LP of time. Wrote your name on the rock of ages. Scratched your name into the bark of the Tree of the Universe: Otherwise you are just another hairless monkey swinging a stick, like our many ancestors have done since time immemorial. Becoming a meaningful member of the Universe is quite a goal. Thousands will come and thousands will go. To play with your stick and display beauty and gift is my goal. Maybe someday I will be looked upon as my teacher, although I have a while to go, but this does not mean that I can't hope and pray for that day. But, it really Isn't about fame, nor adulation. It is about Mastery! So today I hope to put a little time in with my stick. Pushing and hoping for the day that I can look into the mirror and smile back at myself. On that day I hope to see Angel Cabales looking back at me with a smile as wide as mine will be.