That’s what I call you, the Ghost Trumpeter. From from my house, it sounds like you practice your horn in the cemetery. I have no idea if you are young or old, male or female; I’ve never bothered to investigate. I like not knowing. The disembodied sound of your horn is a small, delicious mystery.
I just wanted to say to you, whoever you are, that you’re good. Maybe you’re a student. Maybe you’re a seasoned musician with gigs around town. Either way, keep it up.
I also wanted to thank you. There is something transportive about sitting outside on a soft Southern evening, with the sun sinking in a sherbet-colored sky, and hearing the clear, distant notes of your horn. It reminds me of New Orleans, where I once lived, and where a part of me still lives and will always live, no matter where I am. New Orleans is the landscape of my soul, a place I return to at night in my dreams, and long for during the day.
When I lived in there, I would sit on the splintery wooden landing outside my kitchen to smoke a cigarette and take in the evening sky. Occasionally, I heard someone practicing their saxophone. The notes made a shimmering gold thread in the tapestry of sounds woven by my neighborhood: dishes clattering inside an open kitchen, voices raised in disagreement, the clank and whir of the streetcar, a television, the bang of a screen door. I would sit outside and smoke and listen to these sounds—and the saxophone—and feel very much a part of something, part of a place and culture. I was alone, but not lonely. It was a holy thing.
Your horn makes me feel that way again. What are the odds that a gust of New Orleans could blow so unexpectedly through a quiet Texas suburb, where there’s no Spanish moss or streetcar tracks? Your music is a kind of benediction, reminding me that I am still a part of New Orleans, that it is still a part of me—a vital, living part, like an internal organ.
But it also reminds me that I’m part of what is here, a place with its own kind of magic, a place that is, to my surprise, able to surprise me.
Yours with greatest admiration and respect,
E. D. Watson