Friday, October 24, 2008

Around and Stop

It's tough to break up: you've invested so much time and energy in someone that even the fact that he's a schlump with a taste for emo rock can't seem to dim your resolve to stay together no matter what the cost.

Similarly, it's tough to admit to yourself that something you've spent years working on is something that no longer interests you. I was listening to yet another high-Baroque trio sonata on the radio program Harmonia when it dawned on me: this was boring. There went the two solo instruments schlepping through the circle of fifths; there went the baseline, lumbering on its way. The harpsichord provided obligatory flourishes as the whole self-satisfied burgher of a piece strolled past, never breaking a sweat.

The truth is I'm getting more musical satisfaction these days messing around on the tin whistle than doing anything I'm actually supposed to be doing. Celtic music may be eminently predictable, but at least it's got the kind of instinctive thrust good music should have. I once explained to a professional bodhran player that one of my principal weaknesses as a musician was that I neglected to justify my musical choices with historical precedent. He looked at me askance. "Why the hell would you want to do that?" he asked.

Why indeed?

Still, there's something sad here. The death of love is the death of love, no matter that my lover was only a certain collection of sounds, that the death was a wearing away so slow it was years before I noticed I was all by myself.

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