Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I don’t remember the first time I ever heard a cello. I do know that my first musical exposure was listening to Aaron Copland’s “Billy the Kid” on the stereo as a newborn. Because my parents are musicians, I was immersed in music early and often, and by the time I was in 4th grade, my instrument of choice was the violin. The reason for this choice was youthfully simple. My next-door neighbor, 4 years older than me, played the violin. Somehow I missed the significance when in junior high he switched to the double bass. Regardless, the violin was the center of my life for 25 years.

And then I changed careers. Forgive me if I don’t recount the whole event here. It makes me tired. I will share a regret from my career change: the selling of my teaching cello when I moved to CT in 1995. It was a good, solid student cello and a pleasure to play. But when I moved to a studio apartment in Greenwich, I didn’t have space for it. In 2009, As Bruce’s birthday approached, I hatched a plan to get him a C-flute as the yang to his Celtic flute’s yin. He was overwhelmed with this gift and immediately wanted me to accompany him on my Celtic harp. I was not so enthusiastic about this idea. The harp is pretty, but hard to play and limited in range.

Somehow, in the wake of Bruce’s Flute Birthday, the idea of replacing my cello was surfaced. With some advice from Mary, the new cello arrived. I haven’t shared too much about it since, mostly because, well, I’ve been practicing it instead of writing about it.

In fact, there is quite a lot of practicing going on at our house. We’ve both found teachers, we’re both working on technique, and we’ve both slipped into a regular practice rhythm that makes our evenings quite pleasant. Jack has made his peace with the flute, and with the cello itself, although he is not too keen about the cello case…

It has been a long, long while since making music was something enjoyable. But now, the cello, along with the quilt projects, my riding lessons, the summer cooking and baking, the lampworking, my godkids, friends and family, are all serving as counterbalance to the stress and strain of work...it feels like achieving balance might, might just be a possibility.

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