" Music is a therapy. It is a communication far more powerful than words, far more immediate, far more efficient"
- Yehudi Menuhin
It was my Mother's dream for me to become a music teacher. As a ballet dancer, music was very important to her and it seems she thought that profession was a noble one and would give me a quality of life and a reliable income. However, as much as I enjoyed music and studied with the Sisters of St. Joseph where I learned to be disciplined ( attaining my performer's certification) and to understand all the intricacies of higher theory, it was not my intent to pursue a musical career. I wanted to chase MY dreams of photography and the textile arts. Without going into a great deal of extraneous detail, as I became of age, I put music on the back burner. I still was in love with rock, soul and jazz but overall, I felt saturated with the medium; defiant to a point where I deliberately cut myself adrift from it. I sold my piano, immersed myself in the photographic arts, studying to be a photographic artist and retoucher, while still maintaining my ties to the fashion world and textiles.
Then I took up with a man who absolutely adored music. He could not be in the house, garage, garden or a vehicle without music being played constantly and LOUD. Our musical tastes clashed and I thought I would go mad. Sound wars ensued - with him revving up Van Morrison ( whom I had an aversion to then- now not so) to pain levels and I would retreat to my workshop and crank up James Brown Live at the Apollo ( whom he disliked intensely). Bob Dylan, however, was common and hallowed ground (-: Thirty three years hence, our tastes have melded somewhat ( although I still cannot stand those " little gurly" groups with the high pitched shrill voices) and we now share CD's and excitedly discuss new musical discoveries.
In the last year, music has become more important to me and I have sought solace in it many times. It has become almost a source of healing for me. I see once again the joy in my Mother's eyes, when she hears her favourite passages from Coppelia, Swan Lake and Giselle - it brings a peaceful serenity to her face that I no longer see daily. It lifts her heart, stirs her soul and for a brief time, she is that tiny graceful dancer pirouetting in her mind's eye once again.
For myself, currently fighting a debilitating health issue, music provides me with great comfort and pleasure. Maybe it's because I have been given the gift of time to truly appreciate and savour some of the finer things in life once again. With my new mindset, I find it has become a habit to have music playing aloud in the studio, something I found distracting in the past. The recent gift of a superb pair of headphones allows me to rock to tunes, stitching and reading long into the night without disturbing the slumber of others in the house.
This summer I have taken a sabbatical from committed projects and outside diversions, while I delight in researching new work, reading literature and listening to a variety of music. I find I am recharging, gaining strength and creatively, my head is in a much better place for studio work in September. All those piano lessons were not " in vain" as my poor Mum has decried but in fact, that concrete foundation has enriched my renewed love of music and the bountiful pleasures I am deriving from it.