The appalling thing is, it all started with a ringtone.
I got a new cell phone, a big deal in my life in that the CSO is what Malcom Gladwell would consider a technology maven, so such things are huge decisions for us. (FWIW, it’s a Blackberry 7100t. I loved my sidekick 1, but the sidekick 2 just looks too much like a handheld video game.) My dream cellphone ringtone has always been the do-do-do-do do-do-do-do bit from Suzanne Vega’s Tom’s Diner, so I looked for that but they didn’t offer it. So I stuck it on a noise like a ringing phone and forgot about it.
Wednesday night is the CSO’s night playing cards with his buddies, so I usually take my sweet time getting home. I decided to stop at Tyson’s Corner mall (the local two story, five department store mall that happens to be on my way home.) I often mallwalk for awhile on Wednesdays and then get a plate of pad thai.
My allergies are still giving me problems, it looks like I may not make it to GA after all and work has been a lot of pressure, so I was a bit low. Actually, a bit low is about my usual state.
Walking through the mall, I got a work call and realized that I should pick a new ringtone. I scanned through my choices. Tmobile always had funky 70s-style ringtones, but I didn’t like any of them. I kept scanning, stopping on BachFugueDminor.
I played it and found myself actually listening.
Shit, that was good music.
Ok, the people who are already Bach fans are like, duh, at this point, but I swear it was like I’d never heard Bach before. I wanted to just lie down and listen to it.
It will probably help to explain that the ChaliceDad was a child prodigy musician who was Amal in the Houston Opera’s “Amal and the Night Visitors” as a little kid. He went to Interlochen and though he doesn’t really do anything musical right now, is a man who knows what he likes when it comes to music.
And he imposed classical music on me for my entire childhood.
It didn’t work. I have no taste when it comes to music. For my entire life, classical music was background. It was Charlie Brown’s teacher talking, it was just there. My father took my to concerts and played classical music constantly and I never understood it. I didn’t like it, it was just torture.
But suddenly, somehow, standing in the mall on Wednesday, I heard a Bach ringtone.
So I went to Sam Goody.
And I got myself a Bach CD. After some consideration, I picked up an 8-CD set of “The World’s Greatest Masterpeices.”
That the height of human musical achievement might be twenty bucks seemed impossible, but I thought it would be a good introduction.
And it has been.
I don’t know why it is that suddenly I can hear classical music. It all ran together before and suddenly the difference between Bach and Chopin is as obvious as the difference between Green Day and Nickelback. I just know.
It’s like that scene in Pretty Woman where Richard Gere takes Julia Roberts to the opera and she cries because she gets it. I think I’m starting to get it.
I know different orchestras play these pecies different ways, and I know that I have only even begun to see the surface, but goodness it has felt like a significant two days.
I haven’t had the guts to tell the ChaliceDad yet.