The Twist: Bawling to Beethoven
March 20, 2023
As my sweaty palms press against the cool rusted metal of the bar, I feel my joints audibly groan. I take a deep breath, straightening my back and deadlifting my personal record.
With my red face streaked with sweat and tears and my chest rising and falling fighting to catch a breath, one would think that I was listening to sped-up rock after a messy breakup, feeling like I was on top of the world.
Quite the opposite, really.
Under my broken-down AirPods, an orchestra bursts. It is a slow piano solo integrated into a violin melody, the keys become faster and faster, and as they reach the ultimate soprano, the instruments come together in a unity of notes – and suddenly – silence.
As the melody starts once more, I feel the darkness brewing. I slowly realize that I wasn’t meant to save the world, I was meant to destroy it as I stare deep into my black irises through the dusty gym glass. I am the 19th century anti-hero scheming against his enemies as I exhale dramatically, center my gravity and propel the bar off the ground once again.
OK, maybe a little less on the dramatic imagery, I’m sure you get the point.
Though not always as theatrical, I thoroughly enjoy listening to classical music at the gym, grocery stores, school and everywhere one could. I may sound like an addict but in truth, I do think instrumental and classical music is the most emotional form of musical expression there is.
It captures the simplicity of joy, depth of anger and sorrows of regret through just a rhythm and a few notes, creating room for every individual to devise a meaning of their own. A perfect outlet to project the emotion you want to unveil in a wordless string of metaphors – a personal signature tune if you will.
Even as I write this, listening to Chopin – Nocturne op.9 No.2, I feel full and somehow productive, fulfilling the aesthetic I have created in the comfort of my imagination. Though plenty of people have looked at me like a madwoman as I try to convert them into listening to the finer form of music, I know deep in me that I will never feel this way listening to music that satisfies my ears but far from satisfying my soul.
So reader, leave your stereotypes that classical music is that of the ancient with no musical taste and accept the independence, dramatics and vividness of character in this art, let it be the villain origin story for your tears and ululate your emotions to that of true music.
Learn to dramatize the passing moments of your character, pick up the piano that sits in the back of your family’s game room and press those precious keys with purpose.
Because if a deaf man understands the depth and appeal, why are you still listening to Kanye?
I’ll leave off with a word of advice from an expert, pass off your tears of self-identification as sweat the next time you hit a new PR at the gym, it’ll make fewer people stare at you.
Follow Aliza (@aliza_abidi) and @CHSCampusNews on Twitter