Sarah Marie Hughes

Saxophonist/Sphinx/Composer/Humanitarian

Lost in a sea of desires...

I love to play the saxophone.  I just played a concert of mostly Ellington from the 1920s for a garden party of dancers, couples and families of all ages in period garb,on a stage in front of the larger than life National Cathedral.  That was terrific fun, to play music full of joy and movement on a gloriously sunny, clear blue day.  In those two hours I forgot all about the raging mess of a world stricken with gruesome war, useless political drama, failing economies, disease, and widespread inequality.

 

I love to play the saxophone.  I recently finished a tour with the trio Lead Bubbles.  The name was my invention.  What does it mean?  Well, one inspiring piece of personal info was that my gut had been troubled by the anxiety of not knowing whether I am good enough or worthy enough to "make it" in music or even to survive as a functional adult, resulting in the perpetual discomfort of a leaden and tumultuous stomach.  Lead Bubbles also came from an idea, that perhaps instead of dropping bombs, people might drop millions of yellow smiley face pillows on one another.  Additionally, the name is an expression of the feeling of having a head full of heavy thoughts that churn, froth, and bubble out in the form of giggles, gibberish, gargles, screams, cries, sirens, prayers, and whooping calls.  I love playing the music of Lead Bubbles because it feels like I feel.

 

I love to play the saxophone.  I've recently started busking alone on streets in Alexandria and DC.  It is an exercise in reconnecting with myself and expressing what I want to express amidst the general public without the comfort or, conversely, the pressure of a knowledgeable or interested audience.  Plus, I wanted to free myself from the impersonal feelings that have been haunting me during performance.  Initially, I had to get over the desire to play what I thought people might want to hear and I determined to play only what I wanted, felt, and heard.  I had my eyes open though, and noticed that the more I loved what I was playing, the more people responded in the form of smiles and donations. Sometimes making eye contact while playing, with a person who chanced to look, felt so intimate that the other couldn't help but burst into a smile.  Maybe they could hear the love?

 

I am recently coming to terms with other things I love doing, like singing, writing prose/poetry/lyrics, taking photographs of my surroundings and myself, cooking, learning about holistic medicine, talking to strangers, and driving long distances while listening to NPR.  I am also coming to terms with things I do not like doing, like being stressed out about how to afford rent so that I can leave my mom's place in Maryland, or worrying about getting a knee surgery for a painful bone tumor.  It is hard because I don't like working jobs that make me feel stressed, incompetent, or misused-- I've found it to be bad for everyone involved.  I am very stubborn and feel that there must be a happy compromise I can find between the real world and myself.

 

I would love nothing more than to be a wanderer of this beautiful earth, with my saxophone and other things I love to keep me busy.  I'd like time to spend with family and my closest friends. I want to interact with strangers everyday so that I learn and grow until I die. I want shelter at night, and food and water to keep me alive. I want to do something good for my community. That's about it.