We really don’t..
I recently saw “Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet”, a documentary about the incredible story of guitarist Jason Becker. A musician with massive natural talent, Jason had a few informal guitar lessons with his uncle and later with a local teacher. He played constantly and his progress was rapid. Jason found himself on the cusp of rock stardom at 19 years old as the guitarist for the David Lee Roth band (of Van Halen fame) only to be diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease. This quickly left him unable to even breathe much less play the guitar. In 1991, Jason was given 5 years to live. Yet he’s still alive today.
He still writes and records music.
Let me repeat myself: Jason Becker continues to compose and record music yet he literally can’t move anything but his eyes! Using a computer program created by his father, Jason communicates the music he is hearing inside his head and his father inputs the data into a computer which results in his compositions. Using other musicians to perform the music, Jason has released entire Cd’s this way.
This story reminds me that music is a coduit for our imagination, a vehicle to manifest our joys, our sorrows, our hopes and disappointments. Art comes from within us, it’s pure emotion. Jason shows us that if we are determined to create art, nothing can stop us.
…and on that note, I’m going to go practice!