The other day, my saxophone broke. A vital piece of cork fell off of it, therefore the octave key stopped working. I took it in to the Music Depot here in Greeley for them to fix. It was sad, because I took it in during concert band rehearsal time, and when I returned, I sat moodily in the audience following along in my music. the next day, I attempted to play my scales test on my friend’s borrowed saxophone, which my teacher said I got a great sound on, but it still wasn’t mine. The next day, I got a call from Music Dept saying that my sax was ready to be picked up. When I went and got him, I almost cried with relief, first of all because I had to practice for my upcoming jury on Tuesday, but mostly because I felt a weird sense of relief that I had my saxophone back.
There is a joke among musicians that our instruments are more valuable than our lives. In a way, it’s false but true- surely no hunk of metal or wood is more valuable than a human life, but when you’ve invested thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours into your craft, when you suddenly are not able to play it, you’re not quite sure how to function without it. Your artistic, musical voice is gone.
I spent four years playing the flute before I switched to bari sax. When I came to college, through strange circumstances, I was only able to play alto sax. But, last year, I volunteered on a spur of the moment decision to play tenor sax in concert band, as opposed to the alto, which I desperately hated. I was given the hunk of metal featured in the photo above last year, and there it was. I found my musical voice. Any saxophone player who has ever had the opportunity to hear me play tenor is dumbfounded by the tone I have on tenor, which I found out a few months after playing it is extremely difficult. (What is it about classical tenors that is so hard to make a good sound?)
I may be a photographer on paper and in practice, but I’m a musician at heart.