Music

Consider this page to be perpetually incomplete. Perhaps there is just an outline here waiting to be fleshed out. There’s always more to add, but it was lasted updated on: [8/7/2020]

Music is my favorite art form, and there is no close second.

It appeals directly to the soul, and it’s a friend for every season.

I’m sure this is the case with many people, but trying to explain my relationship to music seems almost too daunting to attempt. Not because the relationship is unclear, but because it is so profound. I would never want someone to mistake it for anything less than it is.

In many ways it’s similar to the frustration that I experience when I make a new friend. I want them to know everything, and I want to know everything, just so we can skip to being old friends.

But there’s no other place to start than the very beginning. A very good place to start…

My instruments

When I was little I desperately wanted to learn how to play the piano. Eventually my mother procured an old upright for me to play, and a teacher to teach me. I played all throughout high school, and then less and less as time went on. The piano is personal for me—I don’t like playing for other people, and I’m not really that good at it. I can play Für Elise, but I had to really chip away at it.

(Side note: I studied the violin during my senior year of high school, but that’s as far as that went.)

But in fifth grade, about two or so years after starting piano, I picked up the alto saxophone for the first time. There began the true love affair. I went on to play concert band, jazz band, marching band, and more. The saxophone felt like a natural extension of my body.

But, as with the piano, I stopped playing the sax during college, which is an immense shame.

Today, however, the saxophone has returned to me, and I don’t ever see it going away. And, unlike the piano, I play the saxophone for myself and for the joy of performance.

My listening

My musical tastes cross every genre, but I’ll highlight four themes:

  1. Country music: being happy with sweet simplicity, gettin outta here, and overcoming the odds.
  2. Happiness and endorphins: the kind of music that innervates every sinew and fiber. It makes you run faster, tap your foot, and sing along. When I first heard “Good Morning, Baltimore” on Broadway on the eve of my sixteenth birthday, I thought I was going to burst.
  3. The feeling of sitting in a coffee shop in cold, overcast New England, watching the rain fall gently out the window. There’s music that makes you feel like you’re there. It’s a quite, calm place. A little melancholy.
  4. Vox Dei: there are some songs that are so beautiful that I have to hold back tears, no matter how many times I hear them. They evoke triumph and grief.

Here’s a playlist that might help: