I have a few passions actually, and so while slightly informal, Ill simply list the main two as a start.
- Double Bass
Lets start with music. I apologize (although not sincerely) for the broadness of this interest. Almost every genre I can think is home to various great artists. From Bach to Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Mussorgsky, and Brahms, my iTunes Library suddenly shifts to Animals as Leaders, Circle of Contempt, and Periphery. Later it moves to Wagner’s the Ring Cycle (opera), and then to Rinat Ibragimov’s recordings of Bottesini’s 2nd Concerto, the Dittersdorf Concerto, and the Vanhal. In between those examples is everything from Cobra Starship and The Far East Movement to Childish Gambino and examples of ancient australian tribal music. To give you an idea of how much music I listen to, look at the bottom of you iTunes browser. It may say you have 5, 10, or 20 hours of music. Maybe even 50! My browser informs me that my library holds 40.7 days worth. That translates to roughly 976.8 hours.
Now, I don’t simply add music to my library in order to make that little number get larger. I take time to pick and choose (and Im quite picky, actually). It would be foolish to think that every so called “artist” creates music that is worth taking the time to figure out and enjoy. In fact, the time it takes to really figure out a composition can be one part of its greatness. Take for example, 95% of the pop stars performing shows today. They could never dream of writing a quality tune themselves, mush less one in duple, compound, or trimetric meter.
But by no means does this make them less of an artist! They are amazing performers, able to take simple tunes, lighting effects, stage presence, and volume in order to create shows the likes of which have never been seen. That being said, I do not respect their music. It carries emotion, but no talent to respect and enjoy. I think of it in terms of a painter. If a painter has only 3 colors to choose from, his ability to make a masterpiece is somewhat limited. If he is given all the colors he wishes, the different brushes, the differing canvas textures, and other options, he can really make an emotional work. Now revert this to musical terms. the composers who aren’t limited by three pop chords really can make more emotionally moving music. I take the time to find and enjoy music that provides that emotional push, and really shows the composers chordal talent. And when you do, trust me, theres nothing more satisfying.
The second passion I have is for the Double Bass, which I perform regularly. I have been practicing this instrument for nine years now, and plan to major with it in college. Someday my dreams include participation with a top professional orchestra, but for now, I”m working my way up the totem pole. Now, because the Bass is not a very common instrument, let me give you a little background. Developed in the 15th century, the modern bass appeared in orchestras around the beginning of the 19th century. The largest stringed instrument in the orchestra, it is meant to give a large, warm, and round sound to support the bottoms of chordal progression. As a solo instrument, it has no rival (in my opinion). Heres an example of one of the best sounding bassists in the world, the London Philharmonic Principle, Rinat Ibragimov: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgZ_-f7pVk4
Note: In this video, he plays a three stringed bass from the 1700’s, not one of the more modern (and far less rare) four stringed instruments.
I feel that my passions do not really defy expectations, but rather they have expectations attached to them. For example, I wish to become a professional symphony orchestra bassist when I start a career. This is an extremely competitive field, and therefore very difficult to attain, and so there are expectations that must be met in order to achieve this. These include many hours of practice, many rehearsals, muscle stretching, care of the instrument, sacrificing room in the car to transport it, and others.
The steps I have taken to feed my passions are many. I have played in many orchestras, bands, school groups, church groups, and other ensembles since I have started. I have also performed as a soloist at competitions as well. I have attempted (rather unsuccessfully, I may say) composition before, and have conducted a group before. Basically, I have taken every opportunity to perform and enjoy good music with others who share my passion.
So far, none has really stood in my way when I have tried to embrace my passions. While many may disagree about my musical choices, they have respected them. My parents are very supportive, having helped me purchase an extremely expensive interment, and letting me apply to the conservatories of my choice. My friends have also been extremely supportive as well, as well as my fellow section members in the orchestras and ensembles I have performed with.