From your musical tastes to your political views, were you ever way ahead of the rest of us, adopting the new and the emerging before everyone else?
My musical tastes are very eclectic. I like something from most every genre and I listen to different types of music based on how I feel or what I have to do. I am awed by a symphony orchestra — hearing all of those instruments blended into one sound, with all its intricacies and challenges.
All of my children played a musical instrument in school, but only one really got into it; my oldest daughter could have been a musician if she’s been so inclined, but it was more of a hobby than a passion. She played the flute first in band, beginning in fifth grade, then moved to the French horn in high school so she could get into the high level band. (Flutes were a bit too popular.) Then in Jazz Band, she learned to play the trumpet, too, and even played the piano in one performance they did.
My second daughter, typical for her, chose the oboe, and did quite well with it, but gave it up in high school for other pursuits. She did, however, begin piano lessons in ninth or tenth grade, and in her senior year performed “Fur Elise” beautifully at a piano recital, where she was the oldest participant! It was a personal best for her, and she didn’t mind appearing with younger children. Recently she bought a piano and she buys music she likes, and practices for the enjoyment of it — between chasing four kids around the house (ages 2-7).
I love some classical music, and what I like tends to be pretty traditional. When I was a teenager I listened to what they friends did, and the same in college. When I went to university in Scotland, my collection of Soul music entertained a lot of my friends; certainly much of it was popular in Britain, but not to the extent it was here. I still have to stand up and dance when I hear “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”!
One of my first jobs, after getting married and moving to London, was at CBS records. It was during that period that punk rock hit the music scene, and I was unable to get on board with that. I think the musicians had something to do with that.
Fortunately, I like music enough that I was able to enjoy some of the music my kids listened to, and particularly liked Pearl Jam, the Cranberries, yes, the Spice Girls (loved their upbeat sound), R. Kelly, Sinead O’Connor, and others. I was less able to like what my son did: Green Day, Nirvana, Metallica — they just left me wanting ear plugs.
Over the last decade, I have come to like some Country Music, John Mayer (I play his CDs in the car when I need calm), Bryan Adams, Adele (another calmer), Cold Play, NSYNC (yes, it’s true), Josh Groban, and more.
So, I’ve just covered music, but that pretty well describes me; I’m open to new ideas and different points of view, but I don’t think avant garde is one my my descriptors. I’ve never marched, I’ve never been part of a mass rally, I discuss religions and politics carefully (though politics is more volatile these days), and listen more than speak.