The experience that I really remember, of course, it was sort of a game changer, was — and I was a child prodigy as a kid playing the violin, and had a scholarship with this violin teacher, and you know, he would poke me in the chest and say “Violin up, violin up.”1 And at the age of seven, I went to see my first movie, and it was Intermezzo, a black and white film with — and it was Ingrid Bergman’s first movie too. And she had a crush on her violin teacher, and Intermezzo was the name of — the title was also the name of the song, that was the background music. And every time she would walk into the room, you would hear that theme. And I really fell in love with the melody, you know, it was like having a secret friend, I would hum it to myself.
And so I told my violin teacher that I wanted to learn how to play Intermezzo. And you know, I had been the youngest ever to perform in Carnegie Hall, and played the Vivaldi Concerto in A Minor.2 So, when he heard me say that I wanted to play Intermezzo, he said “No, no, that’s not right for you.” And it was an epiphany, I’d realized that he wanted to mould what I did, and how did he know what was it like for me? And so I realized without having the vocabulary, but my gut feeling was that this was not just refusing my request, but it was like an attack on all individuality.