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Born in the US, raised on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, lived in Italy, the US, and Canada. Lover of language, travel, colour, and the natural world.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Few words, much music

Today was my father's final recital. He has been doing his Master's degree in music composition after many many years of teaching, performing and composing. He has been doing his degree in the evenings while continuing to teach elementary school music all day, and composing in every minute in-between, which means he has been rather over-extended for the last couple of years. But tonight seven of his original compositions were performed in a small concert that was the culmination of two years' worth of work. It was a gorgeous concert, and made me feel like after two years of barely speaking with my father (he is not a big talker), tonight I was flooded with two years worth of everything he might have said had he spoken more, and what he had to say was incredibly beautiful, friends. I will try to post some of the video recording made of the performance once he receives it. 

After the concert one of his professors, a handful of the musicians that performed his compositions, and a few friends came back to the house for steaming hot bowls of soup, salad, thick slices of hot bread and gingerbread and vanilla ice-cream with strong, piping hot coffee for dessert. I love having musicians in the house. My grandfather was a professional musician, my father's older brother is a professional musician, and when I was growing up we just always seemed to have musicians in our house rehearsing with my dad. Because musicians have been such a big part of my life, I find their  presence comforting. They sit around talking about tempo and half notes, discussing the difference in sound between say Baroque violin and regular violin, or making music jokes that involve puns that I never really get. When my dad talks to myself or my mother he is rather quiet, but when he is in the company of musicians he suddenly has a whole repertoire of music-related jokes that I have never heard before and is sparring music trivia with his companions. There is something about listening to a whole group of musicians excitedly discussing their passion even when I do not actually get a good portion of what is going on that makes me happy. Tonight we had a lot of music lingo flying around our warm little living room, and I enjoyed just sitting back and listening. I think what makes it so enjoyable to listen to is that musicians really love what they do. It is not a profession that people go into for the money, so those who make a life out of it generally really enjoy making music, and this is evident when they get talking.

At the end of the evening, after our guests had finally drifted out one by one, I washed dishes and helped my dad clean up, feeling content and happy that all of his hard work created so much beautiful music. It is such a gift having a musician for a father--always having live music in the house, and getting to hear and understand how a piece is slowly stitched together, each instrument being perfectly integrated to complement all the others until a unified sound emerges that is so completely unlike what any single one of the instruments could possibly have produced alone.

I am feeling grateful for my father's gift of music, and for all the hard work and dedication that generates the music that has always filled my life. It has been a truly gorgeous day. The perfect start to the weekend! Have a lovely, relaxing day tomorrow friends! 

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