Thursday, December 3, 2009

Ann Marie's Violin Concert

I love the way one memory triggers another, or how a random comment reminds me of something.  The posts that result are often my favourites; they almost write themselves.

A couple of weeks ago, I did a post on concerts at home with my dad. Attending a Home Routes concert in September had reminded me of those evenings. Cher from AskCherLock commented that perhaps her neighbours had some similar arrangement because she regularly heard live music coming from their house in the summer.  She sits back and enjoys the concerts from her own patio.

Cher's comment reminded me of Ann Marie's violin concert, a concert that Ann Marie, to this day, does not know she actually performed for me.

Anyone who has lived with or close to someone learning the violin will know what the practice sessions sound like. Is it screeching? Sawing? The initial years of violin playing are torture for anyone within earshot! Ann Marie, who lived nextdoor, was no exception.

Sometimes she practiced in the backyard in the summer, perhaps to give her parents and brother a break.

I didn't hear her play for a few years until one hot summer day. I had taken a nice, cool glass of white wine out to the patio and intended to sit quietly in the shade for a few minutes before starting dinner. Soon, violin music began in the backyard next door. Ann Marie was practicing.

I couldn't believe my ears. Ann Marie's music was lovely, classical, and flowing. Those few years had made such an enormous difference.

The two yards were separated by a fence and bushes on each side, so Ann Marie had no idea that I was there as she practiced. I sat in wonder for about thirty minutes, sipping my wine in the cool shade of a hot day, enjoying my own private concert. I can't remember what she played, but for those magical minutes, she was the best violinist I had ever heard.

Thanks to Cher, I remembered; without her comments, who knows how long this memory might have stayed buried.

(I know that the video clip has two violinists, but it is a beautiful rendition of Pachelbel's Canon in D.)

(girl with violin photo credit)
(violin close-up photo credit)


Owen Gray said...

Whether it's Pachebel's Canon or Air on G String, nothing can compare to a single violin played by a master.

ChrisJ said...


You're right, and it takes a very long time to reach that stage.

nothingprofound said...

Amazing what years of practice and hard work can produce. As you may know, I coached gymnastics for many years. The transformation in terms of grace, confidence and ability over time is nothing short of miraculous. I hope, in light of these observations, that the little five year old drummer who lives next-door to me will soon be producing heart-warming mellifluous tones.

ChrisJ said...

Thanks NP. Hmmm, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for the drummer!

lifeshighway said...

A backyard concert and a chilled glass a wine, who could ask for more.

ChrisJ said...

lifeshighway, Yes it was one of those moments and about being in the moment as well.