Sonata For Solo Viola

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2015/08/14 14:03 +00:00, original URI:

aka on learning to appreciate my Asperger Syndrome and the unique/quirky view of the world it gives me

This blog post is not about a sonata in general, or a sonata for solo viola in particular. It's about a viola player from the Columbus Symphony Orchestra who made me the subject of an experiment of her own devising several years ago when I lived there.

As my prior blog post Respectfully crooning The Ballad of JAL (at, near, and around Penn Center Academy) indicated, I am not in the habit of being involved with every or even most or even very many at all of the women I write blogs about, and this blog post is yet another example of a lady I met with whom I was not involved.

She and I never slept together or dated or in this case were even friends. Technically, she unintentionally used me to prove that a geek could be trained to pay incredibly close attention to a particular artist under the right conditions.

Interested yet? ;-)

I was going to the symphony to see (among other things) an excerpt of (if memory serves) Sonata for Viola and Piano by Swedish composer Hilding Hallnäs that was really more of a Sonata for Solo Viola piece, with my friend Liz (aka PNL), who was visiting.

Before the show began, we met this viola player who was talking with some people about the piece and about other parts of the performance that we would be listening to, and she said some things about it that seemed interesting to Liz and I and then she asked some questions about us like "how long had we been going out before the symphony seemed like a date we would both enjoy?" to which Liz and I both simultaneously said "we're not going out!" so quickly that we had to explain that she was just visiting and that she had a boyfriend who I was friends with and so on until it was clear to her that Liz was willing to pimp me out to a viola player if she was willing which just embarrassed me a little if you know what I mean.

Just before we started with heading to our seats before the show started, our viola player got a mischievous look about her and smiled suddenly and asked how much did we know about the viola exactly?

"Not much," I admitted "and most of it is probably wrong. I doubt that is just a violin with an accent," I tried to quip cleverly, realizing how much less clever that it probably would sound to an actual viola player than just about anyone else in the entire world.

As if reading my thoughts for a moment, she smiled and said "well don't let the First Violin hear you talk like that. You'll give him an inferiority complex."


And suddenly I realized that she was a little or more likely a lot cleverer than me. She realized that I wasn't really trying to flirt and just got caught up in the moment embarrassed by what Liz was saying and had no easy way out. So rather than embarrassing me and giving me a complex that might have o lived its own life beyond the night, she defused the in a way that never managed to leave me, even to this very day. I was intensely paying attention to the First Viola that night and a decade and a half later it helped me differentiate the sound of the viola at a Duncan Sheik concert in a way that managed to even impress her with what I was managing to hear, a side effect of the impact of my Asperger syndrome on how I listen to the sny orchestra both all at once and with individual instruments as the need requires.

And it all started with A Sonata For Solo Viola, and a neurological disorder that ended up being an odd sort of blessing to help me appreciate the music...

no comments

Please consider a donation to keep this archive running, maintained and free of advertising.
Donate €20 or more to receive an offline copy of the whole archive including all images.

go to newer or older post, or back to index or month or day