I couldn't see a soul as I peered through the bristling light, down, into what I assumed was a crowd. The deep timbre of the shredded and mended wood I bent in my hands rang purely through the bodies below. The resonation evidently had taken the voices that were so boisterous the week before, and stilled them. I was sitting in one of those seats, just 8 days ago, listening close to the vibrato and the arco and the clever lyrics ascending high into well executed harmonies. 8 days later and I was standing above that seat peering out. I've played solo countless hours in front of thousands of people and yet I'd never felt as raw as I did last night. The only thing backing me was a thick black velvet curtain. It started slow, this vulnerable state of perfect alone. I was alone. My voice dripped over the suspended notes in the room. It seemed like my breath was heavier than the late summer humidity and I could feel it wet inside my chest as I let it break, unrestrained. What I understood afterwards was a stillness, a state of waiting but not anticipation. It was a total willingness for the audience to be kept inside of each moment and not unwilling to be taken to the next. I could hear them exhale, at the end of the songs, just before the applause. I took my cues from them and let lessons from my childhood, from heartbreak, and from growing into my own settle over their ears. It's funny when you take a 6-string, and dwindle it to 4, how much it expands. Last night, I'd taken my living room, where my bass and I have spent hundreds of hours, and I laid it out on stage in front of total strangers. They took their shoes off and stayed awhile. They were welcomed, they were home, and so was I.