Sunday, June 27, 2010

Lydia the accordionist

Here's something you may not know about me:

I've always had a fascination for... unconventional instruments. This may not be anything out of ordinary except that first you need to realize where I come from.
My father is a flutist turned professional opera singer and my mother a classical flutist. My second sister is a cellist, the third one plays piano, the fourth one is learning the flute. Also, my paternal grandmother was a concert pianist with a gold medal from the conservatory of Rome, one of my dad's sisters is a pianist/organist/harpsichordist (bet you didn't know people still play the harpsichord eh?) and the other one is a harpist/musical theory teacher. And my dad's two brothers are respectively a base and baritone (and my dad's a tenor) but they don't sing for a living (although the have the skill level to do so if they wanted to).
Moral of the story, you can imagine the kind of music we listened to growing up.
I had my phase with the harp (with my harpist aunt as teacher), and later the piano (with my pianist aunt as teacher), but never really got very involved in music. It's not that I hated music or anything, I just did NOT want to go the way everybody else had gone (I credit that to teenage rebellion...). Nor did I want the lifestyle and especially the paycheck of a musician. I'm sure I'll regret it someday. Actually, what I regret most is that my father never taught me how to sing.
But you know what they say: "les enfants du cordonnier sont toujours les plus mal chausses" (the shoemaker's children are always the worst shod).


My whole family made fun of me when I decided I wanted to play the trumpet (my best friend played the clarinet in the village orchestra and it sounded like fun). But at least it was a somewhat classical instrument since you can play it in an orchestra. It ended up only lasting a year since we moved the next year and there was no more village orchestra for me to play in. Mind you, I did very well for a first-year trumpeter--I even got high honors from the "jury" which consisted of my best friend's dad (who happened to be the music school director) and some other music teacher. Ha.
Then there was the time I wanted to play the mandolin. Somewhat classical I'd say, but it was too "folksy" for my parents. Oh and then there was the accordion. I LOVE the accordion! It's such a happy instrument. But of course, if the mandolin was too folksy, the accordion was downright... "It's for peasants Lydia! You're not going to join a gypsy troupe now are you? What are you going to do with that... play in the streets and put out a hat for coins?" (It was mostly my dad just poking fun at me, but still.)
I just thought it was a cool instrument, I wasn't going to make a profession of it...
Oh, and classical guitar. I LOVE classical guitar (so did my dad's dad by the way). But nope. It was too risky. I might accidentally start playing...


Pop music.

Or heaven forbid... Rock music. I mean that's the sons of perdition right there.

But hey, at least I never wanted to try the recorder...

According to the Defranchi hierarchy of music, the recorder belongs a little bit below the triangle and somewhere above the bongo drums...

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