schumann vs. techno
Do all of my posts have to be about painting? I have a quick story. The other day, I was driving along in my pickup truck with the windows down, listening to one of my favorite pieces of classical music, composed by Schumann. Does that sound pretentious? Well, I’ll file a disclaimer- a few minutes before, I was listening to Charlie Daniel’s “Uneasy Rider”, and my shuffle function went to Schumann afterwards. So, I was driving along and listening to Isaac Stern climb higher and higher in the melody, his violin weaving in and out of the voices of the viola and cello… what a delicate piece, a delightful diapason, a beautiful melody that is given back and forth between the strings and piano. As I am wrapped up in this piece, I pull up to a traffic light. Suddenly, into this soaring, sonorous melody there intrudes the discordant sound of some noise so loud and jolting that it can only be likened to a herd of brontosaurus charging across a field of broken glass. And two seconds later, a red Nissan Maxima with a spoiler, chrome rims, and lowered tires pulls up next to me- it was a Guido, blasting music with his windows down, some type of techno rap fusion. The guy sat low in his seat, draped his tattooed arm over his steering wheel (yes, a barbed wire tattoo, with tribal motifs to boot), and his brow was furrowed. His girlfriend danced to the music as they waited at the light. I sighed, and went to roll up my window. But then…
I hit the volume button.
And I hit it again.
I did so until I maxed out my volume. So there I was, in a big pickup truck, blasting Schumann’s piano quartet in E flat major, op. 47, andante cantabile. It was deafening. The violin was screaming, the cello made my dashboard vibrate, and I was tickled with glee to find that my sound system was much louder than his. I slouched in my seat, draped my arm over my steering wheel, and furrowed my brow. I looked over with detached toughness, as is the manner of a Long Island guido. When my eyes met their eyes, I was delighted to find that I didn’t break character. I gave a head nod, furrowed brow still intact. And then, they broke- the girlfriend started laughing convulsively, and the guido turned red.
The light turned green. I rolled on in my dented chevy, and as the cacaphony faded away, the onlooking pedestrians wondered what on earth had just taken place.