Friday 4 June 2010

Irish Fiddle: Heaven or Hell

Over a year ago, my wife took up Irish fiddle. This happened because her cousin had taken this up about a year before that. I have been following along watching the 2 of them engrossed in their new found past time: daily practising, weekly lessons with a professional, attending concerts, workshops and impromptu sessions. Last year my wife even attended a week long Irish Fiddle "camp" and is going again this year.

This cousin and his wife came to visit us for a couple of days and while I was at work, I know that my wife and her cousin spent time practising and playing together sharing their mutual appreciation for the instrument and its music. I have to chuckle while adding the amusing comment made by the cousin's wife clarifying the expression "appreciation for the instrument" by calling it an obsession. I think the cousin may have been bitten by the bug a little more severely than my wife.

This morning, before heading off to work, I sat for 10 minutes with the cousin while we both had our first cup of coffee. I took the opportunity to give him my take on his "obsession".

Many, many years ago, I had taken up the piano. I was very much... ah, obsessed with the instrument. While those days are over and will never return, I do remember a few curious aspects to being bitten by the bug, as it were. I remember literally going to bed at night excited by tomorrow because the next day meant I could do it all over again. I was excited thinking about what new wonders related to music and my instrument I would discover. Even when I wasn't playing the piano, there was a sort of upbeat feeling about the day, about my life. I had an interest, a passion, a direction in my life. It was an amazing period of my life; it was an amazing feeling to have had. While I could in no way make any sort of claim to being good or whatever, it was incredible to walk amongst the gods. I smiled as I wrote the word "gods" because there have times over the years where I did use the word heaven when talking about the "high" that came from being so keenly involved in music.

I explained all this to the cousin adding that I fully understood where he and my wife were in their appreciation for the instrument. It's a wonderful feeling and yes, we could argue whether or not at times it's a bit obsessive but what the heck, for the moment, enjoy the ride!


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