With New Year approaching, I inevitably begin to think about wish lists and resolutions. Learning how to play the cello has always been a dream of mine.
I attended a music and art school in Beijing when I was a teenager. There were a group of students with different instruments, some played traditional Chinese instrument, and some played Western instruments, and there was only one student that played the cello. One evening we just happened to have a discussion about a quartet, and I remember him demonstrating different interpretations of a passage and I was thinking to myself that the sound of cello was quite amazing. That was about the first time the thought of studying cello ever entered my mind.
Two years later I came to the States and soon after I attended a private school in Santa Monica, one of the international student was an excellent cellist and we quickly became best friends. She had a obsession with Jacqueline de Pre and we spent a lot of time after school watching her performance. Thinking back, these were quite unusual experiences to grow up in, as now I realized that this was not the typical teenager activity and we were all a bunch of serious nerds.
Now I'm an adult, I often think about the importance of music and art in a person's life. It's really not about accomplishments anymore but more about personal fulfillment, and music can certainly bring a level of satisfaction that no money or career success can substitute.
While piano can have such brilliance, I find it lack the kind of intimacy that a cello could bring. Like this cello suite by Bach, it's almost like a quiet monologue among oneself in solitude.
After many years of wishful thinking, I think this might finally be the year that I pull myself together and rent a cello and get myself a few lessons.