La Banda Gozona is performing at the Bilingual Orientation Center, 411 Boston St, Queen Anne Hill at 11:30 am on friday, at El Centro de la Raza, 2524 16th Av S., Beacon Hill at 1:00 pm on saturday, and at a wedding in federal way from 8:00 pm until midnight on saturday the 12th.

which reminds me… playing with banda gozona is fun, especially playing sousaphone: all of the other “tuba” players (there are three of us, clayton, gilberto and myself) have tubas, and i’m the only one with an actual sousaphone, which, apparently, is cause for great jealousy among the other tuba players (even though my sousaphone is held together with zip ties and hope). also the music is pretty easy, for the most part, and kind of fun to play… especially “Norma de la Guadlajara” which is actually a tuba solo with band accompaniment.

but the rehearsals recently have been with a whole pile of dancers (a lot of the music we play is specifically to dance to, and there are complex dances with multiple different parts, so we have to play the music a very specific way), and most of the dancers – and a significant number of band members as well – either don’t speak english at all, or speak english “as a second language”, which means that, with varying degrees, they don’t understand what they’re saying when they’re speaking english… and it makes it very difficult to understand what they are saying when i don’t speak spanish, or oaxacan, or mayan or whatever it is that they speak. it’s even more confusing to me because a lot of the dancers are children, and, like most children, they make a lot of unnecessary noise all the time… particularly when we’re trying to figure out what to play next, or where to start. if the kids were making noise in english, it would be a lot easier for me to not pay attention to them, but because they’re making noise in another language, and half of the band is making noise in the same, other language, it’s practically impossible for me to understand what’s going on from one moment to the next. it’s so frustrating that there have been a few times recently where i have felt like walking out of the rehearsal because i don’t understand what’s going on and nobody will explain it to me… and then the band starts playing somewhere, in some piece of music that i don’t know.

i feel particularly sensitive to all of this noise when i’m trying to understand what’s going on, but it is not possible for me to get across the fact that i can’t understand what they’re saying when they can’t understand what i’m saying, even when i can say it. the fact that i can’t understand what they’re saying somehow makes my “difficulties with language” (aphasia) even worse, which makes me even more frustrated, and i feel like walking out, which wouldn’t be very polite, if nothing else.

also, sunday the 6th is no pants day, and friday the 11th is wesak. yippie…