Hi, I’m Eric.
Many people know me as an “alteration man”, never satisfied in one place. But hey, life’s a journey right? I, for one, can’t sit still.
From being a decent student with a penchant for English and the sciences, I’ve shifted to getting my diploma in Audio Engineering along with a Bachelor’s in communication. I spent a year abroad in a tropical Asian country being a missionary and doing several evangelistic works (with counselling high school and college kids being one of them.) On my return, I landed a teaching profession, while I moonlight as a sessions player. There are also a few projects in the works.
I’ve enjoyed playing finger style guitar for the Sunday morning service for many years. I got to compose and record a few of my grungy numbers. I ventured into the world of session playing and began to absorb whatever I could learn, like a sponge, and then, when I sat down to reflect and have some quiet time, I filtered out what couldn’t sync with me. I decided to play on my strengths, and do my best at that. A recent exploration has been in the world of jazz, and man, it makes my soul vibrate! I only regret not giving certain “genres” of music a chance. If it’s good, it’s good, and that’s a personal and subjective thing. It belongs to me and it isn’t my right to decide if others feel the same way.
There’s something about all these kinds of music, that resonates with the heart. When that happens, you can see heads bob, hands raise, tears flow - the list goes on and on. It’s so enriching to see people having an experience and a connection through the music they listen to. I try and adapt my playing style in a way that makes me enjoy the music I play, as well as connect with people who can catch on to my wavelength. It could manifest as carefully articulated rest strokes on the classical guitar, at just the right time. It could be that overdriven slide or pinch harmonic at the end of a phrase. It could be a unique and tasty strumming pattern. It could be the energy that drives us heavy metal dudes to run and jump around. It could be that sly grin, subtle hunch and head bobbing while doing a slick walking bass. Music is an extension of the soul, after all, and tapping in to each genre’s qualities has made my performances and listening experiences so much more vibrant.
In the current chapter of my life as a teacher, I’ve certainly adapted to an environment that contains our future: children! We don’t know where these kids come from, what their demons and struggles are, and what quirks they come with. What we do know, is that they have a lot to offer some day, and what they end up bringing to the table really matters. As teachers, we try not to only teach them, but also nurture them, counsel and pastor them. Music is a great tool to bring out hidden talent, to draw the shy ones out of their shells, and to resonate with certain emotions - to be in sync with the idea the original composer of the time had.
I’ve seen the kids crooning softly for ‘Autumn Leaves’, singing the ol’ foot tapping ‘Take me home, Country Roads’ with great gusto, and do several positive-vibe action songs with great dedication. Often times, they come over to the music room during lunch breaks to sing what they want and try learning instruments. It’s always exhilarating when I see them begin to understand the musical concepts, even if it’s a little bit. It means they aren’t relying on what I say anymore, but also internalising it and feeling it themselves. Encouraging them and upbuilding them today will certainly raise good, passionate musicians tomorrow who will look at music for what it is - divine, beautiful, and without borders. It’s an art form, and it needs to be given the respect it deserves.
I’m glad I’m in a place where I can sow seeds, and give back what many wonderful souls have given me over the years. I’m learning to respect all kinds of music: everyone’s having their own personal experience. As for me, I know where I stand. I have to trust the process and do my best.
We are hard pressed on every side but not crushed, perplexed but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. Onward and upward!