Monday, April 18, 2011
Inside the studio, which happens to be the computer room...
After watching yet another bizarre movie in my strange quest to complete the IMDB checklist for one Mr. Muphy*, I was struck by a quote.
From "Watching the Detectives"
Niel: You know, I heard that chicks dig musicians...
Violet: No, Magicians! We go nuts for magicians. Clean the wax out of your ears.
Which of course got me thinking of how cool magicians are and how I totally had a crush on David Copperfield, but eventually I mentally wandered back to the scene in the movie I had just watched where the slightly geeky video-store owner puts on a (rather impressive) one-man rock show to impress the object of his affections, and the assumption that chicks do, in fact, dig musicians. Which made me think of that part in High Fidelity... you know the one, where they're at the show watching Denise Huxtable sing "Baby, I love your way"?
From "High Fidelity"
Barry: I wanna date a musician.
Rob Gordon: I wanna live with a musician. She'd write songs at home and ask me what I thought of them, and maybe even include one of our little private jokes in the liner notes.
Barry: Maybe a little picture of me in the liner notes.
Dick: Just in the background somewhere.
So there, in some words, is sort of the idealized view of what it's like to live with a musician. Of course, I was completely sold on the idea of dating and living with a musician, ideally for the rest of my life. I think my friend Andrew was probably quite influential in keeping that dream alive, because he is a musician who writes songs and once asked me what I thought of them (though I never made it into the liner notes in any fashion). That overly-romanticized idea of the creative process and the inherent coolness of living with a musician was very real in my brain.
Of course, I did marry a musician. Not that kind of musician though. Not a song-writing type. A folk musician. Which, if you were to go so far as to describe me as a musician or vocalist, which would be totally weird to me, even though I am and do sing, in public, for money, I would be classified as a folk singer as well... I think... anyway, the point is, there is no song-writing happening at our house, except for the filking kind.
Living with a musician involves a lot less moonlight composition sessions in picture windows that end in soft-lit romantic encounters and a lot more singing, humming, whistling, noodling, and practicing songs or more accurately, bits of songs, and generally the same bit over and over again for days on end until someone finally explodes in a fit of pique and there may or may not be the throwing of pillows, socks, or other soft objects that happen to be handy. It's not a one sided thing either. I may have nearly lost my mind while my darling husband was trying to learn "Phil the Fluther's Ball" but he's also had to put up with his fare share of me muttering the ending line of "The Sigh that Heaves the Grasses" because I know my part, but only when the rest of the girls I sing with aren't singing their parts.
I'm not saying that we aren't supportive of one another's individual musical pursuits. The hubby comes to see me sing regularly, and I try to make it to his shows when they aren't at the exact same time as my shows. There is lots of support and encouragement on both sides for each of us to thrive and continue with our own particular brand of musical expression. There just also happens to exist a lot of eye-rolling and sighing when one or the other of us is practicing a particular piece. Music is wonderful. Rehearsal isn't nearly as much fun to listen to.
My brilliant and talented husband is also a sound engineer, and as such has recorded, mixed and produced all three of his cds to date... and while I'm not in the liner notes in some obscure personal joke or background photo sort of way, I do get photo credit for the shot that appeared on the back of his second cd, because I took it on our honeymoon, in a real Irish pub, where he played real Irish music** with real Irish musicians in a real Irish jam session and someone mistook me for a real Irish girl. It was awesome.
I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who live with the song-writing kind of musicians who don't mind the sound of rehearsal and maybe even have soft-lit romantic encounters after moonlight compositions... "your mileage may vary" and all that jazz. Here in the land of Irish folk musicians with more stringed instruments than I can count, spell, or properly pronounce, things are a little different. There is still a lot of singing along with the radio, creating harmonies and arguing over who has to sing the melody, but more giggling and laughter, less meaningful glances across tension-filled rooms, which may have as much to do with us as people as it does the kind of musicians we are.
Again, your mileage may vary.
* I know Temerity Jane once set out to watch all the Colin Firth movies listed on IMDB, and sometime in the summer of 2000 I decided that I would watch everything that Ewan McGregor had starred in, and that was likewise a long and strange journey. You'd think I'd have learned my lesson, but not yet...
**Surprisingly similar to the stuff to be found at most renaissance festivals