April 24, 2013
The pupil becomes the master
Following our interview with bassist Victor Wooten (read our print piece here), The Beat decided we should read his book, The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music. We haven't yet finished, but we can say it is definitely a good, worthwhile and enlightening read.
Wooten sets the book up as an extended lesson he is given by a sort of mystic. This isn't a book review, so we'll leave finer point alone for those who'd like to go read it themselves. What we noticed, though, is that there are a lot of shared themes in the book and in our half-hour chat with it's author. A lot of that is in the print story.
Wooten, of whom we've been a fan since we discovered Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, of which the bassist is a founding member, said few more interesting things - some of which we'll try and include here.
On his musical family:
"I'm lucky to have brothers that are amazing not only musically but also in life."
Wooten's oldest brother, Regi, is still sort of the bandleader of the family. His brother Rudi has passed away, and his brother Joseph tours with the Steve Miller Band. Drummer Roy is also a founding member of the Flecktones - known better as 'Futureman.'
"When we were kids, my mom used to ask us 'What does the world need with another musician, even a good one?' To her, it was about more than just playing an instrument, but about how you benefit the world."
On playing bass and leading a band:
"The bass guitar is designed to support other people. It's an instrument of service. Sometimes there is nothing more joyful that to make othern people happy, and I'm very fortunate to be called to do that - to help someone else's vision. But it's nice to have people also do that for you."
Wooten has been leading his Music and Nature Camps for 14 years, but five yuears ago he and his wife, Holly, purchased 150 acres of rural property west of Nashville to create Wooten woods, a retreat center that allowed Wooten to expand his teaching and camp program. Read more about it, including how to sign yourself up, here.