Last night as I was driving home I had an a-ha moment. Actually, I had 2 but I can only remember the content of one. Anyone who has 2 kids less than 2 years apart can probably relate.
This particular a-ha moment was music related. Anyone who knows me well, knows that I have been a musician practically since I was born. My primary instrument was violin, but over the years I had lessons on recorder and piano, and viola - which almost became my primary instrument during my highschool years.
Most of my musical experiences up to high school were pretty much fed to me by my father. He was a dance-band and orchestral musician, so Classical music was the biggie with Montovani and the like a close second.
One summer when I was in High School, my brother and I went to sleep-away music camp for 3 weeks. I got in on a viola scholarship, which meant I had to play viola in most of the groups I was scheduled to participate in. They did let me play violin in one quartet. However, to my GREAT disappointment, the music that was selected for that quartet to play was (horrors) a MODERN selection. With "MODERN" being spoken with the same disgust as a dirty word. It was dissonant and had a meter that constantly shifted. It wasn't the Mozart or Vivaldi I was used to - that I knew I could play.
I despized that piece of music - I was depressed that the only chance I had to play the violin was compromized by my lack of appreciation for the "ear-shattering" dissonance of the piece. I don't even remember who wrote it. I do remember that it was a brand new piece and that our little quartet would have been only the second formal performance of it. I say "would have been" because the four of us disliked it so much that it was never performance ready. Our coach - who picked the piece and LOVED it - was highly disappointed in our obvious disrespect and disdain.
That summer, I was introduced to another idea. The idea that music was linked to or could draw out our emotions. I heard one of the counsellors comment that the Brahms trio my brother's group was playing "made them cry" it was so beautiful....
That was new for me. I had always looked at music as a very mechanical thing. You played the notes on the page - with the inflection required by the composer - loud/soft/fast/slow etc. That gave me something to think about, and aspire to. But I didn't connect any of that to my dislike of the "Modern" quartet.
Years have passed - about 25 now - and I've been through a lot. Relationships have come and gone. My life philosophy has undergone stress and modification. I understand and appreciate everything from Gregorian chant to Heavy Metal. I don't ALWAYS want to have to listen to either, however. AND - my big a-ha moment - I LIKE music with"tight" harmonies. AKA dissonance. I frequently prefer it, in fact, and have for many years now...
Jazz, folk, rock, "Modern" classical.... It resonates deep within my heart and soul.
It is about emotions, it's about fear and loss, it's about getting to the other side.
It is about LIFE.
And Modern Life is not always - or even usually - harmonious.