I remember being a teenager and listening to music while contemplating the ceiling. I liked what my parents liked, mainly. French singers and composers: Jacques Brel, Jacques Higelin, Bernard Lavilliers. Artists of the time.
I am surprised today to still listen to those old recordings. They haven’t left me. I also listen to classical music, my all time favorite: Mozart, Chopin, some Beethoven, some other more obscure stuff. These come from my teenage years, too. I didn’t think it would be true, that the music you hear and discover while being a teenager, you keep the rest of your life. And yet, here I am.
I don’t think it makes me very stubborn and short minded either. The great pianist Rubinstein, one of the best interpret of Chopin, was becoming blind at the end of his life. When interviewed on what he was playing before his sight would disappear, he answered “Simple Mozart melodies”. The ones, I am sure, he had heard while he was a child.
I will make another parallel with Miles Davis who was playing very simple, childish melodies by the end of his career. The song “Jean-Pierre” would be one of them. Now, how he would improvise with it was mature and deep, but the raw material of the song was not complicated at all.
My two children are now blossoming teenagers. They have no idea what awaits them, they don’t know that what they listen to right now will follow them the rest of their lives. I hope I don’t guide them in the wrong direction.
By the way, is it the only thing that has followed me since my teenage years? What about my taste in cooking, or the way I dress? Good topics to ponder.