Posted by: eaubeauhorn | October 1, 2012

The musical voice

My quintet met last night for the first time in a very long time; the 1st trumpet has Parkinson’s and his medication was recently changed, bringing him back to a place where he can play a little. I had not played in about a year and a half, except for two “excursions” of about ten minutes each about six months apart.

Music is my soul’s voice; I don’t know any other way of saying it. My “voice voice,” the one that came with my body, doesn’t express my soul. I can only do that through music. I suppose if I were a singer my physical voice might come closer to expressing my soul, but I think I can’t express my soul with words. Poets can, I guess, but I’m not a poet.

I badgered two of the players to work out their schedules so we could meet, saying it would mean a lot to me. One of them thanked me after we were done last night for the badgering, meaning he was very glad we met. We’re a group that has played together enough that we learned to meld, form a group mind so to speak. Not the easiest or strongest group mind I’ve participated in, but we get there.

I found myself having to bite my tongue when we went too long between pieces; my hunger for playing the music was such that I wanted to play until I dropped, with no gaps. We kept going for about an hour, playing mostly old favorites; my chops lasted amazingly well considering how long it has been since I did any regular playing. After we stopped, the trumpet player with Parkinson’s said he’d like to do it again soon and we all agreed.

But this is about soul, my soul, and its need to express itself in music. It’s like I really do have no other means of not only expressing myself but also of being myself; I just don’t know how to explain it. This morning I turned on the radio while I was lying in bed and Tchaikowski’s Variations on a Rococo Theme came on, a live performance by Rostropovitch.  For the first time in a long time, the voice of the cello grabbed me and wouldn’t let go; the A string has a different voice than the D string on the same note; I was hearing these voices as he used the different strings to express different things through the voice of the cello.  I wonder sometimes how much difference it makes that I know what note is being played; do I hear the voice of the composer “more” than I would if I didn’t know what notes were being played? Sometimes I think so, because the pitches are like individual words in a language that can’t be expressed otherwise.

So I got in touch, last night and this morning, with my soul again. It was sorely needed.


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