A few weeks back, my cousin, E.J., myself and some other family, attended a live recording session at LCBC . This place is truly a unique environment. Part church, part community outreach center, all around cool place to spend a few hours. Before I can fully set the stage for this story I need to give you a little back story on E.J. and I. At different times in our lives we both were provided with training in the science of Audio Engineering. So now I need to explain what an Audio Engineer is. The quickest way to describe what such a person does, or is, is to ask you to picture in your mind a recording studio. Now do you see the person who sits in the booth behind the glass with all the equipment? He/She is an Audio Engineer. This person is responsible for the "mix", for making sure that everything that should be heard can be heard at the correct times and appropriate levels. In view of our backgrounds, E.J. and I sit through a concert listening to and experiencing the evening in a different way than most others around us. This particular night was to be no exception. We went through the night keenly aware of even the slightest adjustment in volume or in tone on any given instrument or vocalist. We could tell you seconds ahead of time when the music would be building next or when a key change might be coming, despite never hearing any of these song before. Just by scanning the stage with our eyes and ears we knew what instruments were following harmony and which were carrying the melody. We can tell you if the band is "on" or if perhaps one the backup singers is getting over a sore throat.
We both took turns throughout the night pointing out our observations to one another as well as exchanging stories of productions we had "mixed" for and found ourselves in a real groove behind the board. You become completely aware that this grand scene unfolding on the stage in front of you, in all it's glory, is coursing through the most minute adjustment of your hands and ears. It is a moment of complete focus, yet you are completely lost in the high of everything being created around you. You have felt it as well. It's that rush you get when you accomplish something wonderful. It's that release of adrenaline that is just enough to make you shake a little without distracting you from the task at hand. It has likely even caused you to cry in that one, perfect moment.
Somewhere in the middle of this great night for us, E.J. pointed and said to me"How cool is that!" He was pointing to a person who was watching the show from their wheelchair and was clearly disabled in a number of ways. This person was jammin' with everything they had in them. Almost causing the wheelchair to topple over several times. It was a surreal sight. In one perfect moment, the mix, the music, the message of the lyrics, everything combined together to reach deep into this person's soul and take hold of their body. It made me laugh out loud and feel all the happiness that was radiating from that complete stranger's enjoyment of a great "mix."