We all know rock-n-rollers and jazzmen are randy devils, but certainly their uptown cousins, the classical, conservatory-trained musicians, are as cool and refined inside as their white tie and tails and tasteful evening gowns suggest? Marina St. Clair tore the tux off of that prim myth over at Jeremy Edward's blog the other day and I have to admit the scene in the practice room she described really stayed with me. Perhaps it's because I have a bad case of musician-envy. A writer needs to sneak up on her reader, slowly weaving a web of words, but those lucky musicians have the magical ability to reach right inside you and touch your heart (and other places) with just a few well-played notes.
Here's Marina's report from inside the practice room:
I spent a lot of years as a music student. As you'd suspect, we all spent a lot of time training our ears -- so that we'd understand harmonic structure, so that we could play in tune, so that we could play a beautiful melodic line, and so that we could play well with our colleagues.
Our highly-trained ears got to hear a lot of other things at the conservatory as well. It was always interesting to stroll down the practice room wing at night. There were all sorts of passionate sounds, musical and otherwise! Quite a thrill for the creative, imaginative auditeur!
Here's a brief scene I originally posted over at Jeremy's, having been moved to reminisce a bit about my conservatory days after reading his terrific 4-hand piano piece:
He was a trombone player. We were both undergrads at the conservatory. We were friends -- what the young ones would call “friends with benefits” these days, perhaps. He dated others, I dated others, and in between, we’d occasionally keep each other company.
We were young, passionate musicians who spent far too many hours in solitary confinement perfecting our tone, technique and musicianship. As was true of many of our friends, we tended to practice late into the evening. And, late in the evening, our young passionate minds and bodies tended to lose concentration on our art and tended to wander to other pursuits. The practice room wing of the conservatory came alive at night and was filled with much more than just the sounds of winds, brass and percussion as the evening wore on.
This particular night, we were both “single” again and feeling lonely. So, I wandered down to visit him in his practice room. He had the window papered over, as was traditional, especially among the low brass players, but I knew his sound. So, I knocked, opened the door, and went in. He was sitting at the piano, working on some orchestral excerpts.
As had become our routine, I stood behind him as he sat there on the piano bench, put my hands on his shoulders and asked him if he wanted a massage. He did, of course. We both knew where things were going, but we were both always a little shy and this gave me the initial excuse to touch him. So, he put the horn down on top of the piano, leaned over to rest his arms on the music stand above the keyboard, and I started rubbing his shoulders and back.
After a while, familiar urges started getting more urgent and the tempo picked up a bit. I started licking his ear and running my hands down his chest -- at which point, he stood up, backed me up against the wall, pulled up my shirt, and we engaged in a fair bit of kissing, petting, sucking, etc. This is why we all papered the windows, of course. We wanted our privacy during these duet sessions. And anyway, we were all musicians -- standing outside the door and listening when people were engaging in this type of activity was quite an auditory thrill in and of itself! Now, I'm generally more of a heavy breather than a screamer, but he tended to be a bit loud and descriptive. So, nobody saw us, but I have no idea how many people heard us.
Conservatory practice rooms are rather sparse -- usually a piano and a bench, a music stand, walls, a floor and a ceiling -- and they’re not very large. So, we both decided that we wanted a more comfortable setting before things went much further. In the really olden days, the sensitive, artsy-type guys would have said something corny like, “Would you like to come up and see my etchings?” But, we were intense, classically-trained young performers -- very cool and very horny. He said the line that would become my favorite pick-up line of all time, “Would you like to come up and listen to my new Mahler 2?”
Ah, I have trouble resisting Mahler and his second symphony is a favorite -- and where else do you get to hear that kind of pick-up line! So, we wandered over to his dorm room, hopped up on his dorm bed covered with the nice beige chenille bedspread his mother had sent for his birthday, and he and I and Mahler were entwined in the harmony of the spheres!