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The Turntable


Until I was 3 years old my parents lived in an apartment near southgate. I have very few memories of this time in my life, save for a few visits to my aunts house of which I have but a few distinct memories. I am told by my mother that my favourite thing to do as an infant was take apart their turntable. I suppose it must be common in very young children to be fascinated with their surroundings, wanting to push buttons to find out what they do, take things apart to find out what is there. As a humorous aside, I am told "Don't touch" were among the first words I ever spoke. It may be no coincidence that the same turntable I took apart so many times played some of the first music I have memories of. Oddly enough, it isn't even the music that I have memories of but the album covers. I still remember looking at Led Zeppelin II and Dark Side of the Moon. The former is my earliest memory of listening to music that wasn't written for children, something I owe to my father's good taste in music I suppose.

I often have thoughts of what my life may be like had I chosen a different profession. Found a different passion. When I was a child, I had romantic thoughts of being a scientist or a carpenter. I was enthralled by both ideas of being a builder and being a discoverer. I suppose those who choose a career in the arts often wonder why they chose that path, we clearly do not do it for the consistency in hours or the monetary reward. Most often when I ask my contemporaries their reasoning for staying the course and not getting a 'normal job', the response is a very astute "It's what I love to do".

I don't know why I have never thought of the connection between what I am told I was like as child, and who I am now. I suppose because I have no first person conception of myself as an infant, I felt it inconsequential. I did however realize something the other day: I am still trying to take the turntable apart every time I pick up the horn. After fifteen years of playing the saxophone, I can still approach music with the curiosity of a child pushing unknown buttons to witness the result.

So every time I want to question why I continue this pursuit I just need to remember.

It all comes back to the turntable.


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©2020 by John Sweenie. ​

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