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How the flu changed my life

by David
(Chicago)

I was taught the piano as a child and studied music for a time before moving on to college. My background in music has always been classical, with a special interest in the music of Beethoven and Bach.

About 10 years ago I was working in a library and became good friends with a woman whose son was at school and was studying classical guitar. She did nothing but talk about her son at work and how beautiful the music he played was.

At some point I came down with the worst flu I have ever suffered through. Normally I am extremely healthy, and to this day I have not been sick like I was for that week in 2000. My friend came over one day with food and magazines and gossip from work and music too. One of the CD's was of Segovia playing.

I had never heard music like this before. The sheer poetry of his tone and the musicality of it moved me deeply. The sound of a guitar played like that was the most personal of expressions I could remember ever hearing. Unlike the piano, my instrument, or the violin, or any other instrument I had heard before, Segovia made the most delightful effects and tonal phrases I had ever heard. Here was the most humble of instruments raised to the level genius and pure artistry. Before that I only thought of the guitar as something to be strummed, or the instrument of rock and loud effects.

What Segovia did for me was change how I thought of music as a performer. After hearing those simple Sor, Giuliani, and Aguado studies I began to think about more intimate expressions of music as well as being a human experience. Only the human voice can express these same experiences in the way that a guitar can in the hands of a master.

After getting over my flu I began buying up every CD I could of Segovia, and soon began collecting Bream, Williams, and others. A few months after that I bought my first classical guitar, a cheap Yamaha, and began taking lessons locally. To this day I will be grateful for the chance to discover this music and what I regard to be the most perfect of instruments.

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Sons de Carrillhoes, performed by Samantha C. Wells...

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