I was bestowed the gift of being able to grow up in New York City, halfway between the Metropolitan Opera and Broadway, so I like to say that such a particular location influenced my particular music taste.
I grew up with the fine arts in a way people grow up speaking a language: you’re pretty fluent or at least you can hold a conversation, but you’re not going to major in it during college. That’s how I am with art, dance, theatre classical music. I can go to an art museum or a ballet performance and get it, I know what to watch for and how to tell if something is done well, but I can’t tell you what you would learn in an Art History 101 class.
But for some reason I took to music like a fish to water. I wasn’t a performer–I was too shy to sing and a childhood illness left me with a tremor that made playing my violin difficult–but I was a listener and observer, and eventually became a writer. From that point I told my stories with words on paper, I created fantastic words and songs full of longing and opinions that could not be argued against. When I wasn’t writing, I was listening to music, and when I listened to music I created stories in my head.
By the time I got to high school, I was listening to anything I could get my hands on. I stopped buying singles on iTunes so I would go to the library and grab every CD that looked worth listening to. The day I discovered the New York Performing Arts Library and their rows and rows of CDs was the day I died and went to heaven.
I listened to pop and rock and indie and folk and punk and metal and I soaked it all up like a sponge. Music was my world, my haven, my escape.
And I still dance around in front of the Met like when my father would let me walk on his toes and spin me around. When the lights go down in a theatre my heart skips a beat. I’ve changed and so has the place where I grew up.
But the music still plays on.