Thursday, September 13, 2012

Passion Lost and Found

Saturday morning bright and early (eww) I might be getting up to go to a yard sale half an hour this yardsale there will be something that will be life changing in a very dramatic way.

A French Horn
This one to be exact. It is a Conn Double from the mid 80s, as old as me (maybe) and it shines like moonlight.

Why is this horn so important to be considered a dramatic life changer? Well...story time I guess!

It all started with my dad, he was a musician and an amazing one at that, Trombone was his instrument of choice but he had several brass instruments around that I would try to teach myself. Turns out I wasn't too bad at matching sounds I heard to sounds coming out of an instrument...even if I really had no idea what I was doing I knew music. It was in my soul and in my blood.

As to be expected I was very excited for Middle School Band. The school I was going to was known for its amazing music program (and terrible sports...why is it that where one flourishes the other suffers?) I really wanted to play French Horn but all of those slots were filled up early and I started out on Trumpet. I played it but didn't really enjoy it that be honest it always gave me a bit of a headache! Luckily one of the Horn players moved in the middle of the year and I got my chance to play what I really wanted. That Friday my instructor gave me one of the school's Horns to take home and told me to practice and try to figure out the basics. Monday was a seating test but she told me not to worry about it.

On Monday I took first chair away from the person who had had it all year. I was so happy with this instrument, it was like some part of me that I did not know was missing had been found. I would play for hours until my lips bled, I planned on eventually playing professionally in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. I went on to compete and because 2nd best in the county (my band teacher was convinced I could have taken first if I didn't have such crippling stage fright...but hey, I did) This blog is not going to be me just talking about how awesome I was, its more than me....umm...tooting my own horn >.<

When I played well it was the only time I felt like my dad was proud of me, it was the only thing we really shared. He understood that overwhelming drive to make music, we would practice together and it was awesome.

Then bad things happened and I had to move away from my dreams. I lost my home, half of my family, most my stuff, and most my friends. I lost the desire to play the French Horn, every time I picked it up and tried to play it felt like a betrayal. I tried switching to the Clarinet and not only did I hate playing it I still felt nothing but sorrow when I made music. Sophomore year of High School I gave up music and wiped it from my mind.

I deliberately forgot how to play, how to read music, how to even hear music. I wanted nothing to do with it. Of course, oh so predictably I would play it in my dreams and wake myself up from the longing. It has gotten stronger and stronger over the years but a night about a week ago the musical dam broke open in my sleep. It all came back, along with this overwhelming desire to play again.

I told Ben about it and he dropped the bomb on me that he figured something like that was going to happen because I had been 'playing' in my sleep for a while now >.< and he planned on getting me a horn for my birthday. Keep in mind those things are expensive and I have never owned one myself. Doubles are extra expensive since they are the more 'professional' horns (and of course what I prefer to play)

So I am terrified...Saturday I might have a horn, I might start playing again...but what if I can't? What if a decade of stagnation and bitterness has ruined my ability? What if it hurts too badly to play?

But at the same time, what if I keep denying what is so much a part of me...I have felt its absence for so long now, I thought that this hole in my very being was because of what I went through when I left Georgia but I have laid most of that to rest...this really is the only thing left.


  1. Hey look at that we got something more in common. I am a trumpet player (closet clarinet player). I wanted to play trumpet like my gradfather musician. My dad played guitar and sang, I was never into guitar or singing. When I hit Jr. High I joined the band and started out playing the flugel horn. Our brass section was pretty full so the following year I moved to French horn. Finally by my third year I was able to secure a seat in the trumpet section.

    As an adult I was able to finally get my very own trumpet (and clarinet) and I it's made my life much fuller. I will admit the French horn has a much richer sound than the trumpet but I love my horn and what I can do with it. I am very excited for you! More pics I hope.

  2. I love this blog, and you. I hope you do get to play again.