Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I've found my craft

I have just finished editing record number three for Scribe Music, an independent record label Joshua Haberman and I started in late October 2011. Since then, we have already produced three records for two Seattle-based professional ensembles, one for the Tudor Choir, directed by Doug Fullington, and two for the Byrd Ensemble, which I hesitantly call "my group." It's been quite an experience working with the best singers in Seattle to produce what is in my opinion a very high level of renaissance vocal music.

I feel like I've been groomed to produce. The musical training my parents put me through as a child combined with the talents with which I was born seems to have paved a path of music making I am incredibly grateful to have found.  Maybe I’m a little disappointed that that path hasn't yet been a lucrative one, like my brother Willlimark Obenza’s - medicine - will undoubtedly be. Okay, I'm really not that disappointed, because I can't imagine myself doing anything else.  I don't want to do anything else.

My wife Margaret and I recently watched a documentary on Netflix, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, about an 85-year old sushi master who, even at nearly ninety, is obsessed with perfecting his art and passion. What I find inspiring about his story isn't so much his success, but rather how conscious he was at such a young age of his deep passion for making sushi.  He began a restaurant apprenticeship before he was a teenager and has worked for the same goal - to make the very best sushi - ever since.  He is a simple man who wears the same clothes, takes the same route to work, does the same thing every day for work.  He is creature of habit and is obsessed with his art. Through his discipline, dedication and awareness, he is regarded as the greatest sushi chef in the world, and we all benefit from his efforts and accomplishments.

I don't think I'll ever be on Jiro's level, which is almost an obsession, but I feel a sense of relief knowing what to do for rest of my life. I want to produce recordings.

I've found my craft.

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