Monday, November 19, 2007
Every so often I go through a phase where I feel like being cultured. These never last very long. But when such humours strike, they make me do wild and crazy things like go to art museums or listen to National Public Radio. (Apparently they also make me say, "National Public Radio," instead of just "NPR." But that might have had something to do with sentence cadence, too.)
I am currently in one of these phases, and what it's making me do this time is listen to classical music stations and practice my flute. (My mother is now weeping with joy. Aren't you, Mom?) It started about two weeks ago when it hit me for the millionth time how I used to be able to play fairly complex classical pieces on my flute and now I can scarcely read music. This time I decided I was fed up with the idea. So I've pulled out some more or less simple things that I used to play and am working my way up. (We'll see how long this lasts. It helps that Former-Roommate-Sarah is now giving me voice lessons, too, which means that I have to practice something anyway.)
At about the time I made this decision in self-discipline, I was listening to one of the insipid pop-stations-which-claim-to-be-alternative that I usually listen to because they don't actually require listening, and I realised that James Blunt was singing, but that I had spent the whole first half of the song thinking it was a woman. And then I switched the station to another of the same ilk . . . and he was still singing. It was really dreadful.
When I first started practicing my flute again (instead of dragging it out every couple of weeks for church and irresponsibly winging it), I thought, "The problem with this whole thing is that I don't actually like the flute." It's not really very cool, you know. Also, when my brother was in junior high and learning the trombone, if he got mad at someone in the family, he could go in his room and let out a long and satisfying blat on it. Whereas, if I attempt something similar with the flute, all I get is "shrill," and there is nothing satisfying about shrill at all.
I was thinking this, somewhat discontentedly, when the classical station I had just started listening to played something by Faure. Gabriel Faure single-handedly makes flute cool, I decided. I think he might have been the only person who really got it. Well, and maybe Poulenc. Anyway. I'm thankful for Gabriel Faure. I'm also grateful that this radio station seems to like him, too.