30 Day Challenge – Day 14

“Oxygen”. Today’s assignment back to beliefs and how they, together with fuel, feed the fire of artistic creation. We’re to come up with one example where we exceeded our own expectations of our abilities. The first thing that popped to mind for me was musical composition back in college. Item of note, I was not a music major. My musical knowledge to this day would be at best called rudimentary. I don’t play. That said, I took Piano, Music Theory and Composition as electives while I was at Kalamazoo College. “WTF?!” Yes.

I think I was an experiment for one of the heads of the music faculty there. I was completely outside of their world, but I’d always been curious about making music. I did orchestra in junior high and early high school, strings, viola then bass. Didn’t enjoy it. Didn’t like regurgitating old music. There was no creation in it. It (orchestral music) was repeat by rote until you can make your fingers do the thing required. It was boring and I dropped it.

When I started taking in college though, it wasn’t for the school assembly anymore. It was so I could create my own music. I only took for about a year and half, before my life blew up due to marriage and fatherhood rapidly coming right on top of each other. Coupled with an temper tantrum accident that left me with digit flexor damage in my left hand, and my musical aspirations withered. In that year and a half though, I learned a crap ton. I wrote several pieces that I enjoyed listening to as well as creating. In addition, I wrote a longer piece in a contemporary composition style that my mentor played for the Halloween event we had on campus. I was terrified and embarrassed and very happy that he thought it was worth that many folks listening to. The notion that anything I created could be good enough for public consumption was a big boost. I think that might have been his point in doing it. Regardless though, it made be very happy.