Raw, adjective: 6. ignorant, inexperienced, or untrained: a raw recruit.
Just read a review of this new book this morning, and I'm totally charmed by its conceit.
In the throes of a mid-life crisis, this guy, Jasper Rees, decided to pick up his old French horn 22 years after abandoning it, with the goal of performing a Mozart concerto at a public festival. In the process, he did all kinds of research on this notoriously-difficult instrument; his book sounds like a veritable love song to the French horn, albeit one rife with the frustration that's often a part of any good love affair.
[This strikes me as brilliant, btw. Why do we leave instrument-learning to 10-year-olds, who quickly abandon them when they realize they'll get more chicks playing on the soccer team than hauling a trombone around?? Are we so afraid of looking a fool as a beginner again at a late age? And why don't we tell those kids that trombone will be a chick-magnet in 10 years if they just stick out the band-nerd phase?]
Maybe it's because I've been flirting with the idea of doing the same thing with my old silver trumpet, but I just loved reading about this book; something about the condensed musical goal, this very tangible little mid-life adventure that has nothing to do with red Ferraris or 22-year-old trophy girlfriends, is so endearing. Lately lurking in the back of my mind has been a similar urge to wail on the old horn again and wear some sequins and pearls and front a little jazz combo, singing "Just In Time" between toots on the trumpet. One of those things I want to check off my list before getting wrinkly and decrepit, fer sure. (Um, let me know if you know any standing bass players looking for a chick to stand up front and look cute.)
Anyway - here's the link to the Chron review. Check it out.