On Sunday, January 28th, 2024, the Community Music Hangout gathered for the 44th edition of the Hang. We gathered under brilliant sunshine that faded to fabulous high clouds of a type we rarely see in SF. It was a spectacular day to make music in the park. It would prove to be the greatest Hangout yet, with 26 players in total! However, there was one melancholy factor to the day.
🎼 🎶 🎹 🎷
Our stalwart piano friend, Carly, was not remotely playable; the internals got completely soaked during the week. I had to bring my digital piano to keep the show on track. Given the severity of the soak, I’m sad to say that this is likely the end for the old gal. Carly has been with us for a year of Hangouts; we played her for around 150 hours! We gathered hundreds of people around her and sang / player her into her very last days. This piano was not played where it was living before coming to the Golden Mile; it was donated. And so although it is sad to see the degradation and destruction of a beautiful instrument, I like to think that the spirit of a previously-unused instrument would be glad to absorb the elemental punishment for a chance to be put to such joyous and consistent use. Thank you, Carly, for all the tunes. I’ve played many instruments over the years, and she’s one I will never forget. The CMH took flight on the back of her keys. We’ll miss ya!
😍 🌞 🌞 😍
When Rikki and I pulled up to the piano, Eric and William were already on the scene. Eric brought his drums, and William brought a guitar with a little battery powered amp (which featured an extra channel which he graciously shared with newcomer Kyle on guitar. Thanks William!). Soon, Ivan pulled up with his guitar (PS: Ivan runs an open mic at the Sunset Reservoir Brewery on the 4th Wednesday of every month. Come out and join!). We also met Francisco who played a lovely guitar. Lots of new faces this week! Plenty of old hands, too, like CMH regulars Joe, Bass Dude, Brian, Nina, Sage, Hugh, Izzy and Nick, good to see ya!
🤗 🥳 🎉 🌳
We were really off to a roaring start! And it would continue that way all day. We had a clutch of piano players all show up around the same time. Excellent. We had Francisco, Lilah, Aiden, and Alex all taking rounds on the piano. It’s so much fun when we have a bunch of piano players. It lets us go to fun new places like when Alex plays and Brian sings. Or when Izzie and Lilah did Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black”! And that led to a fun segue where I suggested we do AC/DC’s “Back in Black” thereafter. And Michael, who up to that point had been hanging in the crowd, volunteered to sing it. That was super fun. Check out the video!
😎 💻 🎹 😎
We also had a whole slew of saxophone players today. What’s the collective noun for saxophone players? I suggest that it is a “coolness”. We had a whole coolness of saxophones today. We had Jesse (who maintains a spotify playlist that matches the CMH songbook! Thanks, buddy), Andy, and Mateo! It was so fun playing horn with them.
😍 🌞 🌞 😍
It was after 3:30 by the time we packed it in. It was 4+ hours of joyous musical collaboration and exploration. I don’t think a superlative exists that would adequately describe how this whole endeavor makes me feel. Thanks to all who participate in any form! I feel so lucky to get to know everybody, to share a song and a smile. The vibes are special. We’ll see you again for CMH #45 on Saturday, February 3rd from 11:30 – 2:30 (or later).