Monday, January 27, 2014

Musica de Haviland: My Musical Upbringing

As promised, I'm sharing a bit more about myself! I've being going the whole concept of blogging a lot of thought this year so far, because I just knew I was missing some things. I read a lot of different posts on the subject matter, and started to realize that although I think my fashion posts are getting better as the years go on, that's really all I've put effort into. I wasn't sharing anything about one of my biggest passions, which is my music.  
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I grew up in a pretty different household than most of my friends. The only music we knew of was classical, jazz, some oldies, and maybe we’d listen to top-40 every once in a while when we all started to get older. My parents were both classical music performance majors in undergrad, and when each child they had came of age in the musician’s standards, that is, they picked up an instrument of their choice. I chose the violin at age five, because my aunt played it and neither of my parents had played a string instrument, and Ben, my younger brother, chose the cello at age three (which was quite young, but he had the drive. My older brother chose the trumpet in elementary school .)
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 When I was twelve we moved to the suburbs where art and creativity was supported a wee more. I spent my afternoons practicing when I got home from school for several hours, just as if I were playing a sport and had to go to practice till 5 or 6 p.m. every night. My mom would always remind me of that! (I would often get up at five in the morning to practice before school too!) And every Saturday morning from freshman through senior year of high school, I woke up early and drove into the city where I went to New England Conservatory’s prep-school program till 6 p.m. at night. Even though I worked relatively hard and was passionate about music in general, at times, I was very close to giving up. I had absolutely no drive or interest in the classical world. Fifty percent of the classical world is Asian most likely (not that I’m racist or anything!!,) with all the crazy tiger-moms, who beat their kids if they don’t get straight A-pluses! It’s just a cultural thing guys! But basically if you weren’t SUPER competitive, you were completely screwed. I couldn’t deal with the pressure and I couldn’t deal with my lack of perfection. Being a classical musician is like being a ballerina. It has to look the same and sound the same, all while using the classical world’s standards of perfect technique. After my first year as a music major in undergrad, I knew I had to give it up. It was time to leave this classical world behind completely, because it just wasn’t for me. I had only felt glimpses of my passion when we were playing Tchaikovsky or Stravinsky or Rachmoninaff. But if you didn’t compose anything after than the early 20th century, I didn’t enjoy your music. It was a painful. Playing Handel or Hydan or even Bach to me was like being sentenced to a long and painful death. I need more freedom....
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After not touching an instrument for over two years, I started playing in church again. I sounded horrible after not playing for that long, but I kept at it. And when I was 24, after some traumatic life-events, I started writing folk tunes and listening to bluegrass fervently. And that’s when I found it... That’s when I found my future and one of my life’s major purposes. 
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There's a lot happening with my music now, but I'm not able to say quite just yet, so y'all will have to keep reading to find out what happens later this year! 
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