Age 7. First French Horn lesson. I knew that letters of the alphabet represented notes, so when Mr. Sadlier asked me what note I wanted to play first, I said “L” since that was the first letter in my name. He politely told me that was not a note, and of course, I asked “why not?” Kids have great imaginations. Later, I would learn that music was a metaphor for the connected world. You make your sound. You know immediately if it’s any good. It either blends or does not. When the band plays, the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts. Yet, like the Silicon Valley employee who had ideas of his own, I couldn’t help feeling like a technician who was only allowed to execute. No interpretation. So, I conducted my own experiment while playing in a musical. I would intentionally delay hitting certain notes. To my amazement, this created a train wreck as the conductor altered his baton and everyone who was following him changed what they were doing. I stopped and smiled. It was just an experiment.
Note: This was excerpted from a project I worked on for the artist Sebastian Schmieg.