Probably the thing I’ve missed most since my son left for college, aside from his contagious laugh and his sunny demeanor, is the sound of his music: the CDs he regularly cranked to full volume (Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Nick Cave, Modest Mouse), and the deep thrum of his double bass as he worked his way through everything from Bach to the Beatles.
Those daily practice sessions were always one of the highlights of my day, even when he was first starting out and his bow screeched across the strings, making sounds similar to those emerging from his mouth as his voice changed. He quickly grew into that bass, though (literally and figuratively), and by the time he entered high school, his bow was dancing expertly over the strings and his hands were calloused and strong from long trips up and down the fingerboard. Deep, rich sounds reverberated through the household every evening like a Maserati engine in seventh gear just as I was fixing dinner.
His dorm roommates are now the ones benefitting from all of that practice, and at some point, once he’s adjusted to his new study routine, my son plans to audition for the University of Utah’s symphony orchestra. Seeing him in concert is probably the only way I’ll be able to keep up with his progress and smile as he gives himself to the music and bobs his head in rhythm with the beat — at least until we lug the bass (and him) home for winter break in December.
In anticipation, I’ve been listening to some of his classical and jazz bass favorites on my iPod during my evening walks (Bottesini and Ray Brown) and I’ve come to the conclusion that Meghan Trainor’s catchy (albeit silly) 2014 pop song is true: Life really is “all ’bout that bass, ’bout that bass, no treble.” My daughter, who plays the cello and the piano would no doubt disagree, but I’ll save that debate (and blog entry) for another day. 😉🎶