Music was always a big part of our lives. For me it began with piano lessons as a kid, then glee club in junior high. And I babysat to save up my money to get my own portable radio. That radio went everywhere with me and at night, after I was in bed, I turned it on very softly and listened for as long as I could keep my eyes open! In college, during my senior year, my music class turned into a mini-band and I played the glockenspiel and then, the bass drum! Don't even ask! My mother and brother, Ed, were music aficionados on the piano and Ed played the clarinet and guitar, too.
Warren loved to listen to music. And he told me that, as a kid, he had wanted to learn to play the violin but that never materialized. All during our lives though, music was "on" playing in the background, at home, in the car, at work. Sometimes we'd sing together but that always ended in us collapsing in giggles. Neither one of us had great voices but I, at least, could keep a tune. Warren, on the other hand, perfected the "one-note" melody! More about that later.
Our taste in music ran the gamut. Ed introduced me to the Big Band sound: Glenn Miller, Tommy & Jimmy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Stan Kenton, etc. The list is endless. Warren had similar taste in music. We both loved smooth jazz and instrumentals as well as the music we grew up with in the 50s, 60s and 70s. He adored the Everly Brothers and drew great delight when one of their songs came on the car radio. And, yes, he would sing along with them! He enjoyed classical music, a bit more than I did, and that station was his choice in his car.
And later on, the boys introduced me to the Hair Bands: Twisted Sister, Ratt, Bon Jovi, Motley Crew, etc. and I realized I enjoyed a lot of their music. Dad....not so much. Then, Abbott met Nuno Bettencourt of Extreme and his music interest, specifically with guitar, took off. Ethan didn't play a musical instrument. His instrument was a camera which he used to photograph hundreds of the best and up-and-coming rock bands in the world.
All of this 'preamble' leads up to this. When Warren sang, I occasionally called him "Johnny-one-note." Holding hot coals was easier than holding a tune! BUT, here's the really crazy thing. When we were at services and singing the beautiful prayers in Hebrew, my beloved one-note Warren was precisely ON TUNE and singing just so sweetly. I would often lower my voice to practically a whisper just so I could listen to him sing. It was profoundly beautiful to hear him. And he was always amazed when I told him how great he sounded. Who knows whether it was singing in another language, singing such beautiful melodies or just being in synagogue that made the difference. We both enjoyed singing those Hebrew melodies. And now, when I go to services, it's really difficult for me to get through the music because I can hear him in my head, singing as if he is standing right next to me and little by little the tears flow.
Warren, my beloved, I still hear your music. You were my love song, you still are and will forever be the music in my heart.
Copyright © 2020, Reisa Sterling Miller, All Rights Reserved.
Sunday, January 12, 2020
Music and memories
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