To the Symphony and Beyond

IMG_8935I’ve always had an appreciation for creative subjects. Probably because I’ve enjoyed doing so many of them myself. Though, there’s one creative outlet I’ve never been able to conquer – Music. I’ve never been musically inclined, although I have tried. I have a keyboard I have been practicing the same song on now for 7 years… That’s trying… Right?

I do love listening to music, when I’m in my car, cleaning my apartment or getting ready to go out. Sometimes I’ll go to a live gig of my friends in a band, but all my friends are usually there too, so my attention is always torn. Whenever I’m studying I tend to play a little of the classics (Chopin, Beethoven, Mozart & Schumann), there’s no words in those to distract me and they surprisingly help me think. But I’ve never appreciated music the way I appreciate other creative subjects. I’ve enjoyed listening, but sadly haven’t had any appreciation for what I was listening to. That is, until this weekend past…

I was invited to the Symphony to see and hear pieces by Chindamo, Schumann and Brahms. I have never been to a live orchestra before and Schumann was the only familiar name I knew, but nonetheless I was beaming with excitement and anticipation for this first experience.

Let me tell you… It. Was. Magnificent.

Maybe it was the fact that I wasn’t distracted by doing all the things I usually do when I listen to music. Maybe it was because I was able to see the passion spread across each face that played an instrument in that orchestra. Maybe it was the vigor of the conductor during specific parts of each piece. Maybe it was because I had to sit still and take in every moment in front of me. Maybe it was all of this combined… Regardless, I was enraptured in each piece as it told me a story…

In Chindamo’s Palimpsest you are engulfed in an eerily haunting tale. The music speaks to you and you envision yourself stuck in a nightmare, being chased through a forest. You are feeble and weak at times and what ever was behind you is frequently gaining ground. Your heart races with each quickened pace. A brief reprieve is given during your hero violinist’s solo and all too soon does the darkness claim you again.

In the next score, Schumann’s Piano Concerto, is the tale of the same forest, but this time it is brightly lit and beautiful and each step you take is breathtaking. It is like you are Snow White when all the birds and animals come out to greet you on your journey. There are small moments of sadness or regret, but slowly your spirits are lifted over and over. Mr Piano man is somewhere in the distance and as you continue your journey towards him you are in awe of what you hear. The passion you see across his face makes you fall in love. It is a wonderful sight to see. The sun is smiling at you and you have so much energy, like you can do anything. You have a spring in your step because life is beautiful!

Brahms Symphony No.1 finds you as the hero of the story instead. There is so much energy building up to your adventure and you are feeling a little mischievous too. There are so many intense feelings of high, but you have to stop several times from getting too far ahead of yourself and you quieten yourself down. Somehow this adventure has turned into you being the last hope for mankind. That dawning realisation that occurs is so overpowering that you shy away from your responsibility for a minute at a time. Slowly, you grow more and more courageous and step out to face your foes to claim your victory. It is fantastic, you have overcome against all odds and the satisfaction you feel is incredible. You have won.

This experience taught me that to appreciate anything in life, we need to take the time out to do so. As they say, “take a minute to stop and smell the roses,” because you never know what you could be missing out on around you. Like with all art, it’s about how these pieces make you feel and the emotions they ignite within the story that they tell you. I was taken on a whirlwind adventure that drew out such a spectacular array of emotions from me that it really was overwhelming. I loved every single second of it.

If you ever have a chance to go to the Symphony I would highly recommend it and my advice to you would be to go with no preconceptions of the pieces you are about to hear and really feel each moment for yourself. If anyone has heard these pieces before I would love to know about the story you were taken on and the emotions they invoked from you and whether it was a similar experience to mine.

Yes, I’m going to say it… I really was taken to the Symphony and beyond 🙂



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