Day 6: Jamming with Bryan, May 30

Jamming with Bryan by Peter Vooys

Our “Meant to be Unbroken” at One88 was a great show. Christina and Becky did a great job of filling in for Jen and Katie for their roles in our between songs drama, and a young aboriginal fellow from Forward House named Bryan shared his testimony. Bryan’s testimony was a powerful story that resonated with me. Bryan and his friend were both going to be baptized the weekend after we left Winnipeg. After the show, we went to grab coffee at the back of the room. One88 had quite a fancy little espresso/tea bar, it was quite a congenial atmosphere. Several of us HTH’ers sat down at a table, as I was feeling a little shy, but we saw Bryan and his friend come back inside after going for a walk, we invited them to join us. When I thanked him for sharing his testimony, Bryan complimented me on the show, and my guitar playing on “My Own Little World” specifically. I thanked him. I asked if he played, and he said yes, and he wanted to show me some of his songs, which I was glad to hear.

He played me several instrumental songs he’d written that bore a strong Metallica influence (acoustic arpeggios, a la “One”, etc). This resonated with me, as Metallica is one of the bands I was influenced by in my first few years of guitar. I listened, and gave him some encouragement. I played him a few bits of songs I knew, and then I asked him if he sang, too. He said he’d been thinking about joining the choir at his church. I encouraged him, and shared a few stories about my earlier forays into singing, how I stopped for years after a few bad shows, and how I am glad to be doing it again (and better). And I encouraged him to keep writing music.

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One of my Hopes for the trip was: “Jam with some locals”. This was a pretty loose definition of what I wanted. A jam I had with some of the high school boys at Seed of Hope in July 2011 was a highlight of that trip for me, and I’d hoped to maybe make some music with some locals. Thankfully, my chat and jam with Bryan was an opportunity to fulfill this hope, and I think it was a cool time for both of us, though we had to cut it a little short, as Bryan had to get back home.

I hope Bryan keeps writing! I think that everyone that sings or plays should do it. It helps to clear the mind of clutter. I feel it helps unburden the heart from emotional baggage. Anyhow, I’m hoping and praying that God will help Bryan and his bro in the coming days to grow in their faith and to be challenged and grow professionally, personally, and spiritually. And if Bryan wants to jam and I’m in the ‘Peg, I would be game, definitely.

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