Posts Tagged ‘flute’

Music, music, music

I’ve always known that music has a profound effect on me (one good reason I received my undergrad degree in music), but just this weekend I realized it goes much deeper than I had ever thought previously. I first noticed how much music was tied in my memories when I was 12 years old. I had gone to Seattle with my mother and younger brother to visit family and on the return home we missed a connection and had to spend 6 (I think?) hours in the Denver airport. I had not planned on spending nearly that amount of time anywhere so I only had one CD–Closer, by Josh Groban –and I listened to it over….and over….and over….and over…and over… Upon returning home I discovered that when I listened to that CD I could see, hear, and smell the Denver airport.

Of course, it fascinated me and being the little scientist I was I set to create my own musical memories. I made a CD of quiet, relaxing pieces (a bunch of obscure classical stuff) and listened to it every night in bed. Eventually I would be asleep before I could hear the entirety of one piece. It was great–in hotel rooms, on long bus rides, and pretty much anywhere else I desired, I could fall asleep despite being out of my normal environment. It sort of fell by the wayside and that was the only time I ever actively attempted to create sound memories, but I do keep it in mind and have been considering a study mix (the one problem is with all the eating issues I have a lot of difficulty ever having good concentration, which would make it really hard to condition my response to the music). However, just because I haven’t actively conditioned my brain doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been passively occurring.

There were a couple things that brought this to the forefront of my thoughts this weekend. First, I was listening to Lake Street Dive and spent the hour-long drive home missing him and crying. Second, I was thinking of other pieces and began to realize just how vivid they were. I have never had vivid memories of anything…in fact my memory tends to be lacking most of the time, but give me one of these pieces and I can recall precisely where I was sitting, with whom, what the weather was like, what I smelled, what I felt, and a myriad of other things. Astounding.

So, here is my list of the pieces I can think of right now that trigger memories:

the Moldau–central campus during dead week of spring semester my freshman year. I am lying on my back with my head on my backpack (the red eddie bauer one), listening to pieces on my green ipod nano. The sun is shining, I can smell the grass, I am wearing sunglasses (black with white dots), I can hear other students playing ultimate frisbee and slacklining, the campanile rings.

Project–the National Flute Convention in Kansas City, 2008. A room full of flutists learning to beat-box on their flutes. My flute studio friends. 2009–listening to them in the recital hall, the I– Flute Festival. Sitting in the basement music education room at music hall, learning to beat-box with the rest of the studio, and Greg Patillo randomly making up a beat-box version of the Dvorak flute solo.

Scheherazade–in orchestra, R. Lin conducting.

A slew of piano solos, flute solos, orchestra pieces–I can see the orchestra, the director, the second flutist, the first oboe, my teacher’s office, the room the piano is in, an important performance, the written music, my hands on the keyboard. I can hear a teacher’s voice, recall the nit-picky details I struggled with on each particular piece, feel the air in my mouth, my fingers hit the keys, my feet work the pedals, the excitement rising in my chest as I near a huge orchestral excerpt.

Lake Street Dive–sitting at the jazz festival with my boyfriend. He is on  my right, we are sitting in canvas camp chairs. I can remember the angle to the stage, the chill in the air (a huge thunderstorm had just gone through).

Ride of the Valkyries–music history in the choir room, the wooden risers, hideous colored chairs, where I sat every class period, my professor, the piano, the picture on the overhead of Brunnhilde.

I know there are so many more that would be on this list. The thing is, I don’t know about most of them until I hear it and all of a sudden I am transported to a time in the past.

back to a warm sun, a great achievement, or a soft touch

As an aside I guess I had better start planning music for weddings, childbirths, and any other important event that I might want to remember later on 😉

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