I have been a lifelong music appreciator. I have mp3s on my phone from as far back as two decades ago, passed on from device to device. Either ripped from a CD I bought at HMV, or downloaded from KaZaA. I love my music collection. It spans decades, genres, and occasionally, languages. A big reason for spinning up my web server was so I could keep it backed up by FTP. I routinely will listen to albums front-to-back while doing nothing else but enjoying the music. On occasion I’ve sat with lyric sheets to read along while listening.
However I have never really been able to make music. I was in band and choir in high school, but being a late-joiner (my HS started at grade 7 and I joined in grade 8) I missed out on the fundamentals of how to read music. Nobody really cared to catch me up. I guess I didn’t care enough either, as I never really invested any kind of commitment into band & choir. Its not that I didn’t want to do music, I just thought band and choir to be lame and religious (ergo: lame) respectively.
Recently I was recommended the album Giant Steps by John Coltrane. I have always liked jazz so it didn’t take much to get me to give it a listen. I’m glad I did; This album changed everything.
I know that musical taste is highly subjective, but this album is perfection. I lack the words to describe how moving it is due to my aforementioned lack of training in musical theory.
After a few listens I decided that I wanted to access that state of mind. I want to know the state of mind which produced that beauty. So I went out to the music store near my house and signed up for saxophone lessons and rented an instrument. I start this Wednesday. I have no silly belief that I’ll ever be able to play like Coltrane, however I want to at least know what it feels like to hold a saxophone and blow into it, thus creating music. If I can play 1% as good as Coltrane, I will know 1% of that mind state. If I’m able to know 1% of that mind state, then I’ll be able to extrapolate.