I thought I had squelched music after undergrad. Not squelched it in the sense that I never wanted it in my life anymore, mind you–but squelched in the sense that I thought I was through that part of my life where I needed music in order to breathe and be whole.
This is clearly not the case.
It has become even more apparent in the last few weeks before starting my doctoral program, and now the most prevalent after I’ve finished my first week of classes: I can’t stop thinking about music. It’s the first thing I think of when I wake up and the last thing I think of before going to sleep. If this is where my spirit lies, then I picked the wrong doc program. Shocking, I know…I’ve spent my entire musical life trying to run away from it in one way or another. Unfortunately (or fortunately), it has caught up with me and attached itself to my soul.
My mom likes to tell the story of when I was a junior in high school and decided that though it was incredibly icy out, I was going to drive to school. She said, “you aren’t driving, it’s icy outside. I will drive you!” Well, I got upset and walked out, slamming the front door on my way. It was incredibly icy outside. I slid off the porch steps and flew partway down the hill in our yard, only being stopped by my shoulder slamming into a tree. Yes, it hurt. Did I tell her? No, not until six months later it still hurt. She took me to the doctor and I ended up having torn my entire rotator cuff and had to have it reconstructed. That means surgery plus four to six months of rehab. Mom likes to refer to that as the “it’s icy outside” moment, and often brings it up. Why? Because every time she tells me something that I don’t pay attention to and then she turns out to be right (which is most of the time), all she has to say to me is, “Lauren, it’s icy outside.”
Music is no different. I told her today about thinking about going back to music and she replied with, “Lauren…it’s icy outside.” Why is this? Because she has told me ever since I was about 10 that I was destined to be in a musical field. Yes mom, I know, you’re right again. That being said, it’s not going to be in the realm of piano performance, like most of you would expect. My performance anxiety is too high to put that kind of stress on my body all the time. Do I know the specific field I want to pursue? Not really. Ethnomusicology, theory, composition…I pretty much want them all. Honestly, it doesn’t matter to me, so long as it’s music (though most of you also know that I’m somewhat obsessed with theory).
I know at least one person, maybe two, who will appreciate the on-paper (and possibly aural, as well) beauty of the works that are George Crumb’s Makrokosmos. This is the kind of stuff that makes me excited. This is the stuff about which I’m passionate.
So many possibilities within so few tiny black dots.
I guess a decision needs to be made.