Troubled Wannabe Musician

Posted in Music by Sandra on September 27, 2008

Today, after having listened to Oceanlab’s Miracle (Above and Beyond Mix), The Murloc asked me if I thought I could write music like that. Writing melodies, harmonics, chords. The title of this post is extremely misleading.

I know I can’t, so I told him so. I may have been a little pianist once (Grade 2), I may have been a saxophonist once (2 years, in high school), I may have aspired to play the violin gracefully… but I’ve always been a performer in that sense, not the composer. We play works of others, and we hardly attempt to write our own.

Oh, I’ve tried before, a few times. I’m ashamed to admit so.

It usually starts at the piano, after I’ve sat and played a few familiar pieces, memorized by now because they’re all I’ve ever learned for piano properly. Then it demands to be let out, so I totter about on the ivory keys, trying to keep sour notes away. But my execution has never been elegant, more akin to the noises a child might make by randomly hitting the keys.

So I stop, frustrated, will the music to die away, shut the piano lid, and go off to do something else. Like reading. That’s something easy to feel accomplished in. A few minutes, a few pages; an hour, perhaps a chapter or two.

It’s never so clear cut with music.

Perhaps I want too much to be good at something musically, like an ideal girl. Maybe I’m forcing myself to be someone I’m not with regards to musicality. I never excelled at my instruments, only averaged. And I move too fast – I touch everything but I never remember the details.

I’m so ashamed of my utter failure in musical areas… I’d give everything I could to start over at a symphonic band, whether as a saxophonist in any tier, or a percussionist. I regret that I’ve let my complacency limit myself when I could have done better. I regret that I’ve let lesser matters trouble my playing. I regret that I tried too hard to be better without understanding the basics, and now it’s too late.

As an aside… when I handed in my resignation from the school band to the band teacher (to whom I’ve been unfairly mean, even then), I wept as if I’d lost a part of me. And I know it even now- when I wrap a hand around the train’s standing poles and start to unconsciously position on digits in the appropriate fingerings to the song I’m listening to. It’s a part of my being that I can never gain back, but I suppose I should be grateful for the 2 years that I’ve gotten with the saxophone, with its cracked leather neck-strap, the smooth curves, the uncomfortable piece of metal that juts out for one’s thumb, and the cold comfort of the instrument…

When The Murloc spoke to me of writing music I felt crushed. I couldn’t write music. I couldn’t even play music more. I couldn’t help him except to listen. I’m not comfortable with this area that I’ve failed in because I’ve tried too hard hoping that others will see that I’m “good” at it (of course, miserably failing because I didn’t grip the basics well enough)… I don’t think I ever will.

I’m beginning to suspect that my failures in music will be much harder to confess to than even my troubles with my family. Hm.

I miss my saxophone. I wonder who is using it now, since it is school property. I miss the aroma of the grease. I miss the taste of a new reed on my tongue. (I miss blasting her too – it was a good way to vent strong emotions, since “blasting” is supposed to make for a better air passage customized for you alone.)

I’m bringing my violin with me when I leave for Australia, but who knows how long it’d be before I touch it again?

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