The Sound Garden: Romance Week
Every other song on the radio is a love song. Every wedding has a special song. Every first kiss or romantic moment in the movies is accompanied by a sweeping symphonic motif. Romance, in all of its alluring glory and elusive mystique, captivates all of us, musicians and non-musicians alike.
This week, we wanted to explore the interactions between love and live music. Our mission was to go into downtown Traverse City and play for any couple who crossed our path. We wandered down Front Street and the pier, popped into The Cook’s House, and ended the evening on the rooftop bar of Hotel Indigo, on the lookout for telltale signs of romance--hand holding, a nice dinner, starry eyes. We found all types. The first couple I met was on their first date, and the second couple was celebrating their 42nd wedding anniversary!
It is wildly out of my comfort zone to approach people--and I can imagine it’s a little jarring for the “victims” themselves to see a total stranger armed with a flute, marching their way. But every couple seemed to connect with the music. It was interesting to see the contrast between the nervous excitement of a young couple sharing a moment of music for the first time and the tender mutuality of an older couple sinking comfortably into each other as they listened. And it’s no wonder musicians are constantly writing love songs--romance is such a multifaceted topic.
In this week’s musical adventure, I realized something new--despite our objective of bringing classical music into “normal” society and to people of all ages, I was actually more nervous playing for people my age. Most audience members at classical concerts are older, so I’m more comfortable playing for anyone above the age of 50. Yet the couples my age were just as eager to listen when they were given the opportunity, which I found surprising. Young or old, we all can feel profoundly and listen intently when music is given to us; it makes me wonder what else we musicians can do with this idea of bringing music to people, rather than waiting for them to come to us.
Music for romance