Moses Sumney, aka Broke My Word

Last night was the best night of my life. I had the great pleasure of seeing one of my favorite artists Moses Sumney live with my homie Claudyne. He performed in the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn. The venue was small and not incredibly packed, making the concert experience more intimate. I could actually see the artist’s face, a first to me. He wasn’t some speck in the distance.

Moses was not the only highlight of the evening because he did not come alone. Accompanying him was his band. One of them (wish I could recall his name) was playing what looked like a small sax. It was refreshing to hear an instrument that was not in the studio recordings, leading to a new interpretation of my favorite Moses Sumney tracks. The main highlight of the band was Brandee Younger, a harp player who has an extensive resume that includes working with famous names like Lauryn Hill, John Legend, Common, Drake, etc. She elevated Moses into the realm of the divine with her beautiful and intricate harp-playing. I felt like I was perched on clouds before the pearly gates when she had her time to shine.

Moses, of course, stole the show himself. His set consisted of performances of most of his album Aromanticism, as well as renditions from his earlier work such as “Worth It” from his Lamentations EP. His voice was out of this world. He effortlessly soared into his higher register, taking you to another realm with his ethereal soundscapes as he reflected on death, lovelessness, and yearning to just make out with the one you long for in your car. He also utilized his voice and loop pedal to construct beats from scratch. It was refreshing to watch artists with real talent create art, showcase their craft in a world of mass-produced beats and auto-tune.

I promised myself I was not going to take out my phone, but I could not help myself. I had to take one good snapshot of this guy. After two attempts, I put my phone away in order to stay present and not miss a thing. Artists like Moses are the reason I pick up my guitar and want to learn. He creates music that connects with me on an emotional and spiritual level. I hope his headlining tour makes him a household name. We need more artists like him out there, putting out music that makes you feel and think.

Buddhism, Music

Staying Present

Words cannot encapsulate my level of excitement. One of my favorite artists Moses Sumney is going to perform at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn on Wednesday, October 11th. His angelic voice and soulful guitar playing resonate with my soul as he meditates on themes like loneliness and existence. I know the day of the event I am not going to record a thing. The reason for this is simple: I want to be present.

Buddhism emphasizes the importance of being in the present moment. Thich Nhat Hanh said, “Life is available only in the present.” It is easy to get caught up in past hurts and future anxieties. This obsession with the past and the future causes life to pass us by. I do not want life and especially this concert to pass me by. I want to savor every delicious guitar chord, every sustained note in the higher register, etc. I cannot stay in the present moment if I am on my phone.

It is very common for concert goers to record parts of concerts, and there is nothing wrong with that. The one benefit of recording is that you can look back on those memories. I know for a fact that I will not look back on any recordings I make. I went to a Deftones concert last year in Mohegan Sun. I recorded a lot of video footage of their set. I have not looked at any of my videos once. I could have used all that time I spent recording on savoring the heavy guitar riffs and Chino Moreno’s dynamic vocals.

The phone is going to stay in my pocket during the concert. It is not often that I get to see my favorite artists live, and the last thing I want to do is miss the experience. I don’t need a video clip to remember being in the Music Hall of Williamsburg. I am sure my brain will do the job just fine.