Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Pit Orchestra

If "all the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players", as the Shakespeare quote goes, who is in your pit orchestra? Who has created the soundtrack to your life?

I started thinking about this question while listening to a podcast today on my way to work. I began to break my life down into sections and name the musicians who were part of the soundtrack of each portion.

As a child my father was it. My mother usually sang along with him and my grandmother never stopped singing, no matter how hard we tried to stop her. They were dad's background musicians in that pit. For the first twelve years of my life my father headlined, though. Whether he was singing or playing drums or some other instrument he got his hands on, he was all I heard. "Daisy a Day" and "One Tin Soldier" come to mind easily, though hundreds of other songs are right behind those two.

Then I became a teenager. Teenagers tend to love pop. I don't know why that is, because I can't listen to the local pop radio stations for more than a few minutes now without wanting to throw a guitar at that Kei$ha chick. But as a teenager I probably would have loved her. I, like nearly every other teenage girl in the late nineties, loved boy bands.

I claim brainwashing.

And quietly mention that I still listen to some of The Backstreet Boys European releases when I'm alone in my car. Shhh.

Over the last ten years my list of musicians has grown exponentially. The deaths of my grandmother and my uncle made huge contributions. Gram's death put a lot of gospel on my soundtrack. I've discovered one does not need to be Christian to find religion in Santana performing "Amazing Grace" or Amy Grant doing "It Is Well With My Soul". My uncle's death brought on a whole different genre. With his passing came AC/DC, Alice Cooper and Aerosmith. Though I had been a fan of all three bands for years, his death created an obsession. And a tattoo of "Back in Black" lyrics.

There are a few sections of my soundtrack that are all my own, though. Not influenced by others. Music that has spoken to my soul since the moment I first heard it. The music that I listen to alone, when I write or paint. Elton John, Billy Joel, Beatles, Ellis Paul, Fleetwood Mac. This music is the closest to who I am. And there is so much of it I can't find one lyric, or even one song that truly describes me.

What music is on your soundtrack? Who plays in your orchestra?

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