June 30, 2020Knowledge / Wisdom / Rhythm
Joy Cooper - Soundtrack Of My Life
Maybe music is so important to me because of my childhood.
My early years were abusive and neglected. I always say I don't have any good memories growing up with my family. Looking now I realize the only good ones I have involved music.
Not just seeing my father practicing Thelonious Monk on the piano for hours, but hearing the keys dance throughout the house.
Many years later I'd hear that same piece in the background somewhere. It was such a prenatal memory. I didn't even remember where it came from or what it was. It was a long time before I found the exact recording and when I played it, it was an « aha » moment.
« There, that's what I was looking for ! »
It wasn't just Thelonious, it was my father. Hunched over the keyboard as notes floated through the room.
The only time my parents didn't fight, was when a record was playing.
The parties, the smoke filled living room and half empty glasses on the bookshelf. Their friends laughing, jazz playing. My parents smiling at each other as Dizzy's horn chirped from the speakers. I didn't want to miss out on any of it. I preferred the safety of the glass coffee table. Crawling underneath shielded my five year old body from large adult bodies and lit cigarettes. I'd lay on the rug, looking up through the table top, watermarks and drinks blocking lively faces.
I would fall asleep with record albums fanned out beside me. The glossy covers with jazz musicians were like my dear old friends...
Words by Joy Cooper