My little brother was a good sleeper. His nap time was one of my favourite times I experienced with my father when I made the trip from Vancouver to Los Angeles to see him for summer holidays. When my little brother would go down for his nap, my father would blast his tunes on his amazing sound system which would reverberate through the house. This was not quiet pastoral background music. It was how classical music was meant to be played. Big and booming to command rapt attention to even the subtle changes in the music. My Dad would sit on the couch, lean back, and cross one leg over his knee. I’d curl up beside him with his arm around me.
He would blast his favourites, which also became my favourites. This is when I learned to listen to classical music and learned the stories of the composers and the time. Beethoven’s 5th, 9th, Pachelbel’s Canon in D, and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture became etched in my mind. Some tunes I recognize instantly but can’t name. The Russian defence from Napoleon’s invading army became associated not with victory but with warm contentment. Stories of Beethoven the man losing his hearing became intertwined with the music and a lesson in possibilities. My Dad would lift his arm to conduct the music and I would follow suit. This would be the music I didn’t mind practicing for piano lessons.
I never had the opportunity to ski with my father. He did have a great opportunity to invest in a cabin at Whistler but it was not to be. However, my favourite place to ski on Whistler Mountain is the Symphony chair, just beyond Harmony chair. The Ode to Joy, Adagio, Glissando, and Symphony Express. All these runs allow you to establish a rhythm as you cruise down through the trees. Turn right by the giant wooden flutes at the top of the chair, overlooking the Flute Bowls, and you can cruise over to Rhapsody Bowl with its big open spaces and panoramic views. You add some sunshine and some warm memories, and it is just one big ode to joy.
Sunday’s Child – This is the memoir thread in my blog. Many of my “aha” moments of life emerge from my reflections of the past. This is my place to do just that.