Performing in Jambands


The difference between playing music and performing is the presence of an audience – something changes when somebody is really listening; the stakes are higher and the rewards are greater. There is an exchange going on that is hard to describe, but somehow musicians and listeners are bound together in one consciousness. When I think about the best performances I have been involved in, either as performer or audience, the deeper you go into the music, the more it becomes unimportant who is playing and who is listening; there is a feeling that the music is not being created by the musicians, but is “welling up” from some deeper place. Thinking about these feelings, I wrote the following words; I don’t know if they constitute a “poem”. Probably not.  And apologies for the corny photo!


Time flows like a river, that’s the time of your life flowing past right there. Are you just gonna stand on the bank and watch it go by? Playing music is like stepping into the flow of time. Let it carry you downstream…

Did you ever see 150000 starlings flying in perfect formation at dusk? Nobody tells them which way to turn, they move as one, because they are alive. We desire to be a part of something that becomes much greater than the sum of its parts.

Silence contains rhythm, and rhythm contains silence. When it is quiet, listen closely – you can hear the rhythm, and the notes. It’s there all around us, all the time. We just provide the channel, to bring it to the surface, to convert it to a format we can share.

So time plays us, like the wind passing across the strings of a harp. Time generates the drumming of hooves, the beating of hearts, the rise and set of the sun, of a human’s life, of civilizations, of galaxies.

Step into that river and let it wash away your little self-ness. Slip beneath the surface into a deeper reality. No ‘you’, no ‘I’, no ‘musicians’, no ‘audience’. Just this rhythm, this here, this now. But…don’t take your eyes off the conductor!

Written by Jamband tutor Ed Hopkinson, who would like to thank all the wonderful Jambanders who made the Easter Camp in Ballinrobe such an amazing and unforgettable experience.

Jamband sessions in Westport with Ed and Eriko Hopkinson are open to ages 12 to 17, and take place on the following dates:

  • 23rd April 3-5pm Westport Town Hall Theatre
  • 14th May 3-5pm Westport Town Hall Theatre
  • 21st May 3-5pm Westport Town Hall Theatre
  • 28th May 3-5pm Westport Town Hall Theatre
  • 4th June 3-5pm Westport Town Hall Theatre
  • 25th June 3-5pm venue tbc

Ring Ed on 0876292198 to book a place

Summer Jamband Camps in Westport from 4-7 July, and 11-14 July, details tbc

“Time flies like the wind – fruit flies like bananas”


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