What's sad about that is that I know the people who play those instruments not only love what they do, they're really good at it. They've practiced for hours and hours over the weeks and months and years, and then they perform their music and I'm over here, immediately biased simply because of the fact that for some reason, I can't appreciate it in any way.
On the other hand, I will always listen if it's a guitar not being slid upon. My brother, Aaron, studies the fine art of classical guitar, and when he gives us a concert during our frequent family dinners, it's always something I could soak in for hours. Sadly, there is usually a cacophony going on in the background. Did I mention I have six kids? And my house is particularly echo-y?
My dad sent me this little video recently. He found it on an old flash drive of his. It's a couple years old, it's not great quality, and the lighting is truly awful, but I love it. Aaron would hate it because he wasn't perfect during this impromptu performance, so I didn't ask permission (shhh!). (I imagine you couldn't possibly care that we've since painted the walls, removed the red curtain, and moved that black bookcase in the background, so I won't mention any of that.)
He's written a few of his own amazing pieces since this video was taken, and when I can get the stars to align, I'll get a good recording. I honestly think he could sell an album. I'll tell you right now (because he's not here) that when he's in his music groove, it's like sitting next to a lighthouse. His fingers fly, and the sound is incredible. It shines.
I've asked my other brother, Robert, to send me a recording of his band, but so far he's forgotten. Robert wrote a song called "Getaway Car" that I really like in particular. It's the juxtaposition of the lyrics (a guy running from a crime he's just committed) with the soft, sort of ethereal quality of the music.
I own a CD of music my dad composed for my sister, the massage therapist. It's peaceful, quiet, and utterly magical -- just the kind of music you want to hear while you're having a relaxing massage. I remember being ill with some sort of flu a few years ago, and that was the music that helped me cope. He also composed a piece called "Seattle Machine," inspired by the huge junk sculpture in the Seattle Airport. I can never listen to it and not dance. I have got to figure out how to get that on here, so if anyone with more technical expertise is reading this, please give me a clue.
Me, I don't compose. Like my dad and sibs, I hear new music in my head (which my sister-in-law assures us is not the norm, which surprises me), but I don't have the skills to write it down. I also don't take the time to plunk it out on the piano. What I do love is that I just spent my birthday money on new piano music and I made excellent choices. In fact, I stayed up until way after midnight a couple nights ago just playing. I can get away with that because I can put on headphones, but I can't get away with the fact that I am a lot older than when I used to play that late on a regular basis. I'm still paying for the short night. But it was worth it.