A million years ago (or in January), Word Press’s daily prompt asked us what role music plays in our lives, and I found it difficult to answer. The world seems divided by music. In high school and college, it dictated who your friends would be. But it’s frankly something I don’t pay a lot of attention to. And for that reason, I’ve always been nervous when talking to others about music. Like I’m ashamed of what I listen to.
When I responded to the daily prompt, DJMatticus asked me “Just because you aren’t actively seeking out new music doesn’t mean that it doesn’t play a big role in your life, does it?” I don’t think so (too many negative. I mean to say, I think he’s right), but his question and the music-related anxiety I sometimes feel got me thinking more about the music I listen to and why I listen to it. So with that in mind, I’ve chosen to revisit the 30 day book blogging challenge I did just over one year ago, but to change the questions so that they relate to music.
Day one: my favorite song.
My favorite song is Jig from St. Paul’s Suite by Gustav Holst.
It’s just awesome to play. I played cello in high school, and it was an amazing experience. The conductor my sophomore year was a new teacher, and I thought of him while reading Amy’s post the other day about bullying her teacher. The other cellist and I and some others bullied our conductor. But he straightened out our high school asses and pushed back. As a result, he became one of my favorite teachers. I actually emailed him a while ago to remind him of what a great experience orchestra was for me, but he never wrote back. Probably still pissed at my bullying.
We played this song when we went to a competition in Montreal. I think in one of the movements, I even had a little solo thing. (Or maybe when we played Brook Green Suite. I can’t remember. We played both in different years.) I love the energy of this movement and that in the beginning, everyone–the basses, cellos, violas, and violins (well, not the basses according to the video. Hmm…)–are all playing the same thing (I also think the video doesn’t sync perfectly with the music). Because of that, it was pretty challenging to play as a lower instrument. The music was written in the tenor clef, but I was used to playing in the bass clef. And it was all in one millionth position way down low on the fingerboard. Playing it was the first time I remembered actually feeling like I played well.
I’m probably donating my cello before I move to England. It’s big and I just don’t play anymore. On Peabody’s donation site, it says that “Instruments only really live if they are making music.” I’m trying to focus on that and giving my cello a new life rather than marking the end of a period of mine.