It flows through my body like that of water down a granite pathway. Softly soothing, calming, taking away the stress of a long day. Highs and lows all covered in majestic fashion. Reverberation intentional to some, mere irresponsibility to others. Eyes closed, brain throbs, my ears are alive. Sight comes from every direction in the self-imposed darkness. I feel emotions stir, heart rate quickens, my smile expands, the crescendo brings about an orgasmic finish, leaving me discarded, alone, left to the demise of a musicians plunder.
Classical music stirs my soul. Its harmonies leave me bewildered, astounded, in awe of any human being who can create such beauty from an instrument. Strings, woods, brass, it’s all an amazing compilation, sometimes more than the brain can process. Now take 50-100 individuals all poised, ready at the call. At the swing of a conductor’s baton the heavens open so even god can rest away the weary.
As I sit typing away, staring blankly at my computer screen there is Pandora’s classical channel playing in the background. And I laugh, not a hearty laugh mind you, but more of a chuckle or child like giggle. You see I believe some things are inevitable. There are paths we choose and paths that are chosen for us, but all the while, secretly our subconscious has another path for us to venture. It’s a pathway that intersects around and through the first two as we travel through life.
When I was younger, I wanted to play an instrument, it was amazing watching people play so effortlessly. I felt deep down inside, I could also play if given the chance. Yet, it wasnt deemed cool. I struggled, was picked on for my trumpet case, and eventually put it down never to lay my eyes upon it again. Sad really. It was my true instrument of choice. I wanted nothing more than to be able to throw down a little jazz, then roll into a classical compilation with the school band. Yet as I said, I walked away, discouraged, defeated and tired of the bullying.
Later on I tried my hand at guitar. Everyone loves guitar don’t they? Come on, who didn’t drool over the left-handed riffs of Jimi Hendrix? Scream at the torturous slaughter of any guitar in the hands of Angus Young? Sit in absolute awe (if you have ever seen him live you know exactly what I mean by AWE) of Eric Clapton? It was THE instrument to play if you wanted to be cool. The only instrument to have in your hands if you wanted to impress girls! The guitar had the IT factor! I knew it and so did every boy my age who ever laid eyes upon Eddie Van Halen as youg girls threw their bras and underwear on stage during Van Halen concerts! (thank you MTV)Yet it wasnt to be. I could never get my fingers to work right, the chords were always wrong, I could not stay between frets to save my life! I was again discouraged, even with hours of tutoring defeat was inevitable. I succumbed to its nasty taste.
I swore I would never ever listen to classical music! It brought about visions of elderly men driving Cadillacs, smoking cigars, talking about their golf games. Living in Florida. My grandparents listened to it everywhere we went, it was the signature music of the geriatric set! (yes my grandparents drove a Cadillac). As I grew older, my hair was long, my musical tastes publicly were quite predictable. AC/DC. The Who, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Van Halen, Van Haagar, The Police, Eddie Money, Tom Petty, Y&T, Night Ranger, Journey, RUSH to name a few. But secretly, unbeknownst to my fellow long hair rockers I listened to classical. I feared being caught and hid my choices well. Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Bach, Braham’s, they were all there, hidden in my “cassette” case.
The Compact Cassette, also called audio cassette, cassette tape, cassette, or simply tape, is a magnetic tape sound recording format.
Just in case there are a few young ones reading who have no idea what a music cassette is..
Yep they were stuffed in Hank Williams Jr., Conway Twitty, Alabama, and Tammy Wynette cases. Why? Because none of my friends listened to country so any examination of my two sided case would lead you automatically to the “Rock” side. No chance of discovery. I would listen to these tapes on the way home late at night or after school. Anytime I knew there was very little chance of discovery by one of my pals. It would have been instant death to be marked a classical nerd. Sometimes while driving at night I would fantasize I was behind the wheel of a BMW cruising home after the opera with my high society girlfriend. Money is no object! posh, posh, snob, snob, can’t you tell I drive a BMW and listen to classical music! The music of the highly intelligent and wealthy!
So once again here I sit, no money, no BMW, no wealthy socialite girlfriend, no multi million dollar home on the hill overlooking all you little people. But do you know what I have? Classical music. It costs me nothing yet brings me so many rewards.
Yes I am older and I no longer fear reprisal from any individual when it comes to my choices in life. I am sure I fit into the old guy status that most young people associate with classical music. But there is one little difference, in my household all my children play instruments. The oldest, previously voted male student athlete of the year, has played in the school band since 5th grade. Now a sophomore in high school he plays in two sports and the marching band. The middle child plays in school concerts and is looking forward to Junior high so he may join band, wrestling and Cross country. The youngest boy sits at the piano like some idiot savant playing what ever comes to his mind then translated through his fingers. strangely everything he plays sounds like a rehearsed piece. My wife and I sit in awe some days as he plays for 15 minutes non stop.
Classical music, all forms of music now stream from my home.
So it seems our paths have intersected. Generations past and present have worked hard to make a change. It’s ok to be what you want to be, play the instrument you want to play, listen to the music you choose to hear.
That my friends is music to my ears…