Zoe loves music. She loves classical music, which is not too surprising as that’s the music she heard for nine months in utero. But she also loves alternative rock, classic rock, and country – just about anything, actually, as long as it’s LOUD.
Now, this is a big change for me. Although I am a professional musician, I rarely listen to music. When I’m not working I am comfortable in silence; perhaps because I’m constantly being swept away by the sound of the orchestra at work I prefer to relax in peace and quiet. But now, with Zoe – who is four weeks old as I write this – I am rediscovering the music I used to love. She sits up (figuratively) and pays attention (literally) and likes to “dance” and to hear me singing along. And more to the point, she stops crying!
So I am now becoming the person who listens to music at home – and I love that person. I find that I’m singing all the time – that’s not so unusual for me, but singing songs instead of oboe etudes is – and that I’m inspired anew by the music I hear. It makes me think about how I present myself and how my own performances stack up against those of the artists I love. Can I be spontaneous and vibrant like Ella Fitzgerald? Do I commit to my melodies and intervals like Joni Mitchell? Can I use my “voice” to create moods and colors, like Janis Joplin? Without words, can I still be poetic, like Paul Simon? I am inspired to try, and grateful to lovely Zoe for the reminder.