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Blazing My Own Trail

Barron Ryan

Tunnel Trail [Explored]  by Jeff Wallace

Tunnel Trail [Explored] by Jeff Wallace

I have conflicted feelings about biographies. On one hand, they're inspirational—you have to be notable for someone to write a book about your life, after all. But they can be kind of depressing, too. I tend to compare myself to these prominent people, and I usually come up short.

I didn't start composing by age five, so I'm no Mozart. I didn't publish convention-shattering etudes at age eighteen, so I'm no Chopin. I haven't put all other jazz pianists to shame by age twenty-four, so I'm no Art Tatum. The list of shortcomings could go on forever.

But I have to remember that I'm not any one of those people, and my path is my own. So what if I don't have absolute pitch like Oscar Peterson or limitless musical recall like Franz Liszt? I'm not the same my heroes. No one is. I'm blazing my own trail.