My wonderful father-in-law invited me to join him at the symphony this weekend. We listened to a pre-lecture, drank some wine and enjoyed the amazing sounds of the symphony. I also started thinking more about this world while sitting next to a man snoring loudly two seats down. Here are five things I learned at the symphony:
1. I would like to know how much training is involved in playing the cymbals in the orchestra. Years of training or just a few clashing together of the cymbals? I’m convinced that my one year old son would excel in this field.
2. Old men with white hair are guaranteed to fall asleep within fifteen minutes of the production starting. As I looked across the sea of people, I couldn’t help but notice that almost every man with white hair was trying to hide the fact that they were sleeping – whether they covered their eyes with their hands or used their program to shield their face. I was on to you guys, can’t hide from me. Plus, your wives looked a bit pissed.
3. There are those musicians that feel the music in their entire bodies and others that are probably thinking about what they ate for dinner. Don’t get me wrong – they are all amazing. However, I’m always entertained by those whose entire body shakes, moves and taps to the melody. I guess I can relate, when I hear “Baby Got Back” I can’t help but get my butt up and start shaking it.
4. How pissed off are the musicians on the stage who have to sit in the last row? I feel so bad for them. I know that you have to be an awesome player to be in the orchestra at all, but wow, sent to the back? That seems a bit harsh. Can’t they all do Chinese Firedrills from time to time so we don’t know who the better players are?
5. After years of playing the flute, I can honestly say that I have no musical ability whatsoever. I can’t tell you what measure something is in, what tempo it is, or even name more than two composers. However, I can tell you that I had fantasies sitting there that one of the musicians would just stand up, go crazy and start playing “Freebird”. I could imagine the conductor ripping off his tuxedo to show a tie-dyed Doors t-shirt underneath and all the musicians let their hair down and start smoking cigarettes as they rock out. Now that would be a symphony that even the white-haired old guys would wake up for.