I always liked music. My mother played the piano. Slim fingers doing simple tunes on the keyboard. We had a piano. I think I remember when we got it. Petrof, in teak. Besides, there were a shelf with booklets. Chopin, Mozarts menuets, Christmas carols. My brother took classes, with an old woman he described as a witch. He never liked it, at least not until he got music sheets for Beatles. “Lady Madonna” was a hit.
I practised when no one saw me, I could go on for hours. If I had the house to myself, it would be the thing to do.
Later I started playing the flute. I got a very good teacher, he was old, and had had his career in the local symphonic orchestra. I only saw him every other week, but then we practised for one hour, maybe one and a half. His wife brought us tea and cookies, he talked about life. Told stories, forgot about the time. He only had one student each day.
I was fascinated with the music, the patterns of the sound, the way things fitted together. I fell in love with Mozart. And Bach. And some of the crazy neo-classical stuff. I went to the library, and took home both the music on tape, and the music score. From the easy flute-related stuff to operas and Mozarts’ Requiems. All the symphonies, and then I went on to Beethoven. Wagner. Verdi’s Requiem. And Rilke and Goethe and Nietzsche. Went on to philosophy and developed a genuine interest in our strange Europe, the whys and hows. Descartes, Kant and Wittgenstein. I read essays, librettos and lyrics. I studied the music scores at a total nerd level 🙂
I felt rich.
I stopped playing at 17. My teacher wanted to find someone better for me, and he found one. He taught at the music conservatory. But it was never the same. I still read music scores, and after reading, I listen, to see if I was right 🙂