Paulo Almeida

Paulo Almeida, drummer/percussionist, arranger, composer

Drummer/percussionist, composer and arranger of multiple music genres.

It's the journey...

As I work more and more in music and learn more and more, I realized this week that music is about the journey. How could it have taken me SO LONG to realize this? At this point, it seems so obvious. Maybe this is something I realized a while ago and just kind of forgot about. But it hit me over the weekend when I was talking to a friend that I was gigging with in Kentucky for a Catholic retreat for teens. I have often mentioned this idea regarding where I am in my faith journey. It’s a similar mentality for me with both disciplines. The closer I get to God and to understanding and living my faith, the more I realize I don’t know and more I want to work at getting better at it. With music, I was telling my students last week that I experience the same sort of thing with music. I’ve still working on new drum feels and rudiments that I’m not very good at, without feeling like there is some place that I’m trying to get to, specifically. “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.” All these years of practicing, rehearsing, studying, research, and learning in music, there is no other way of going about than to learn that we continue to work and explore and learn over the years and it seems to never end. But that’s also part of the joy of this journey is that there is so much to explore and to learn and to experiment with. The best we can do is just to try to enjoy it as much as possible as we go along and keep looking for opportunities to challenge ourselves further and enjoy the ride while also recognizing that it’s all part of the choice to live life this way.

To shake the sleeping self....

I can see how it would be easy to just fall into routine. I was trusting that life wouldn’t change since things had been a certain way for some time now. Have a good place to live, so that’s cool and don’t have to worry about it until I’M ready to leave. Wrong! The owner of my house wants to sell so now I have to leave unless I decide to buy it, which he is asking way too much for it. I have a good job and there isn’t anything happening to that at this point but one should never just assume that it’s going to be around no matter what. Relationships have that about them, as well. Sometimes, if we get complacent, we assume that nothing is going to happen with that and then all of a sudden, they say, “We need to talk.” No body NEEDS to talk, they want to talk. (Seinfeld reference right there. Don’t challenge me, I know about the whole series). My struggles seem to be coming back and it may be associated with a lack of Vitamin D, the nature kind that you get from being in the sunlight, since Nashville has been getting rain for the last 3 weeks basically non-stop. (Are we in Portandia since there are so many hipsters living here now and they brought the rain with them?) . I find that it is necessary to make sure to keep yourself awake as much as possible. To remind yourself (myself) as much as possible of the gratitude that we may feel for everything in our lives, including the crap you wish you didn’t have to deal with. It’s hard to be grateful for all of it, especially when you are so overwhelmed with life that you take a shower that should be relaxing and just cry while you’re in there and don’t know how to stop. Life is life, and we need to remember to do what we can to keep ourselves awake, experience everything that is part of experiencing it and do the best we can with the information that we have available to us at the time.