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, 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, 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. 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.

  1. Choir, Life Of The Intellect, One Million Dollar
  2. Real Musicians, Simple Background
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