Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I'm not usually jealous of too many things, that's the only good thing I really know about myself. But there is one thing which I've struggled with, one thing that I can;t seem to stop getting upset or jelous of others about.
It's music. I see a lot of young composers, especially young organists , mastering their work. I see people younger than me getting into and already accepted at the same music schools I wanted to apply for. I see kids my age leaps and bounds ahead of me in their execution, flawless in interpretation, I see 17 year old masters of counterpoint and 20 year old masters of choral composition, knowing how close I could have been to that.
Instead, It's taken months just for me to hash out a simple fantasia. I can't play any fugues or properly play hymns, and my only choral work is still incomplete. In the end, I don't think it's entirely my fault. There are things that I could do differently, but in the end, my situation in life dictates that I'll never develop my talent with music.
I have raw talent.
I can write a short Dialogue-Cantabile-Toccata set, I can play a few simple works, I've basically mastered trilling. My improvisation is okay, and I think I have chord progressions down.
But, my pedal work is crap, and I can't do counterpoint. I only get an hour of practice a week ,sometimes. Yes, sometimes. Without notice, I'll come to the church where I practice to find that they have something else going on*, so no practice for me. Ocassionally, I have to go three or more months without any practice at all.
Even when I can practice, the organ is'nt much. There's only two reeds, and in the pedal, only a Bourdon 15' and Violoncellon 8'. No solos, one string, the gedakts are partionally function, neither middle C# or Bflat an octave up work in the pedal, the couplers don't work very well, and nothing-to-pedal works on treble A, A flat, G or B flat. The lowest C does'nt connect to anything. The Tremulo does'nt work properly, and there are no pistons.
There's no piano or anything at home, only my keyboard with it's 18 broken keys. All of the C notes are broken, as are the A and F notes. So I can never play even a full chord. I can't afford lessons, and my parents don't care for my interest in music at all.
More aptly, they discourage it.
To them, it's simply another manifestation of Catholicism. That evil Romanism that they can't stand, though they've left off telling me so outright. They want me to leave off this usic, because they think badly of it.**
So they're reluctant to do anything to help me with it.
As such, I have no music books. I can't afford them on my own, and neither of them is willing to put up for them. All I have is a worn down, torn up , coverless copy of some of bach's fantasias, passacaglias and other minor works. There are pages missing here and there, so it's not much use.
Before I came to look seriously at my real-life situation, I thought I could get into Curtis. Yes! I thought I could get into Curtis!
So that's when and why I get jealous.
Because I see people who's parents had money. They had all the resources: The money, the lessons, the books, the teachers, the hours upon of hours of practice and suitable instruments. I have me in a cold, heatless church in the ghetto, on a barely functioning organ trying to teach myself what I can from my precious single book.
I guess it all boils down to class and caste. This kind of stuff is for the haves, not the have-nots.
Thus endeth my rant upon concluding my first practice since November.

*It always seems to be either children's choir practice or practice for their liturical dancers. I'm not making this up at all. I'm serious.

**Well, so do a lot of Catholics. Stick some Latinor other usic of the like in your average RC parish's mass and see if you don't get drawn and quartered.

1 comment:

Dr. Karen said...

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