I have my dear friend Fiona staying with me at present (no - not THAT one. The other one.)
Growing up in our
actually quite large provincial urban centre
little home town, we were the Up and Coming classical singers. There was me, Fiona and another girl. Another Girl and I went to one teacher, Fiona went to The Other One, who was quite, quite mad, but could not actually ruin Fiona's voice, thank goodness. We saw each other around the traps, as the people in a cohort of musicians tend to do.
She went on to do a BMus/BEd and is a dedicated teacher and awesome musician (although she sings jazz more than anything these days, and is doing conducting and a Master degree in music - and I will get to graduate her!) I went into the musical wilderness and slowly found my way sort of through it and discovered many odd things on the way.
And here we are, 20 years later. Fiona and I reconnected through (of all things) Carols by Candlelight
in 2006 and slowly cemented a new friendship. Now we are valiant supporters of each others' endeavours.
Last night it all got a bit giggly over the champagne she brought over with her to celebrate me passing the LMus exam. Then it got serious. And she said to me: "you do it because you love it, right?" and I honestly had nothing to say
that didn't sound like a version of "a day late and a dollar short".
One can witter on about wanting a career - but can I possumly have one at this "late" stage of the proceedings? Should I have already Gone For It (whatever the hell that means)? Problem is, nobody tells you where you have to GO (I think Europe is involved, but nobody has been able to give me specifics). Or even what "it" is. And to tell the truth: I wasn't physically ready until much later than one is supposed to be. The voice settles when it settles. The mind and the spirit (for want of a better word) do too. When I'm ready (really ready, following my own timetable) to do something, it gets done and happens easily.
And yes, thanks, I want to make music. I'm getting pretty good at a bloody demanding skill that is not exactly just screaming one's lungs out in front of a band (not that there's anything wrong with that). I'm even of the opinion that my winding path, frustrating as it seems to be to so many people, has been the right one: I'm not some bubble-headed 27-year-old coloratura with no social skills that don't involve my cleavage. The music I want to sing is not for the faint of heart (or brain) and requires some emotional heft to really sell
The other thing Fiona said was that she was teaching a young student with a beautiful voice, and gave her Mondnacht
to learn. And the student said "thanks for that, but I won't be learning it. Where would I get to sing it?" And Fiona thought she had a point. Wow.
I think that's the saddest thing I ever heard, for two reasons:
(a) you can always find a way to perform a beautiful song which is
(1) HELLO, written by Schumann; and
(2) has final lines that translate as "my soul spreads it wings/and soars as if it were flying Home" (oh oh OH)
(b) she doesn't get to ever sing Mondnacht. Think about the doors that girl slammed in one sentence.
Heh. Maybe I am the eternal teenager, too big to sit with the kids, not quite polished enough to be at the adults' table. So be it. So long as I get to keep learning and making glorious music and singing it for anyone who will listen (preferably with cash involvement).....then you'll all get to hear allllll about it.
Thanks for a quiet rant over a virtual coffee, Internets. You rock (not that there's anything wrong with that).