When I was young I was fascinated by the great composers.
I think it stems from two films which made a big impression on me – Amadeus and Immortal Beloved.
I also found many composers’ names extremely evocative; Sibelius, Pachelbel, Tchaikovsky. Better than Bateman, don’t you think?
Although I was never actually that passionate about classical musical, certain pieces are now irrevocably associated with important parts of my life.
Fur Elise reminds me of lonely evenings practising the piano. Dvorak’s Songs My Mother Taught Me conjures up hungover mornings at university, and Mahler’s Adagietto from Symphony No. 5 (the refrain used in Death in Venice) somehow symbolises all the regret I feel from my first real relationship.
I guess this is a roundabout way of saying that I’d like to have been a composer.
I’ve always seen myself as a tortured genius. Though sadly in my case there is plenty of tortured but precious little genius.
Another minor hitch is that I’m completely tone deaf.
I tried out for my school choir once and was politely told that there was more chance of a tribe of mutated monkey dogs emerging from Epping Forest and sacking half of England before I’d ever be asked to sing in public.
So, as with most things in life, I can only think of what might have been.
But perhaps, it’s not such a bad thing. If I had been a composer, I may well be dead by now.
Still, I’d kill to be able to write one symphony, never mind nine.