When my thoughts turn negative, it is always music that rescues me.
In my early days on Long Island, my only chance to listen to what I liked, was when I was driving to work or school, and although I spent a lot of time commuting, I never minded because that was my alone time. Once in a while I caught sight of my uncle in my rear view mirror, but fortunately that was rare.
I’m sure I am not the only one who used to sit in their car waiting for a piece of music to finish.
Classical music was my father’s choice and my mother tolerated it although I suspect she would have preferred silence.
We didn’t have a great selection of music, long playing records being impractical to move around. My dad purchased a reel-to-reel Grundig tape recorder and copied some LP’s which were then abandoned. In the tropics, however, the tapes tended to stick because of the humidity!
At least I gained a familiarity with the sound.
How fascinated my father would have been by the idea of having any choice of music readily at his fingertips!
In college, I listened often to WQXR and I became devoted to Beethoven. This was regarded perhaps as a sign that I was progressing in a cultured way, so I was allowed to play the odd symphony on my uncle’s phonograph.
One way an another his music was etched into my soul.
For my birthday, one year, I was even given a bust of Beethoven. I took it with me when finally I was “allowed” to have my own apartment.
My aunt’s cocker spaniels, Wendy and Jill, came to visit one day and were terrified of it, so I had to hide it before they barked the place down.
A term paper I eventually wrote, in part about the 9th symphony, scored me an A in my philosophy class. It was a bit fake, because I had worked out what the professor wished to read and so supplied it, but mostly it was my own thoughts.
It’s fair to say, I suppose, that I am into “big” music. Full orchestra. Beethoven had such passion. When I was depressed I would listen to Symphony #6, the Pastorale, movement 5, especially…over and over. I cried a lot, but it was what I needed, obviously.
When I met Tim, he took me often to Lincoln Centre and to Carnegie Hall. I fell in love with Beethoven’s Piano Concertos. And many other wonderful classical pieces.
But I am a fickle person…I really hate to admit it.
My choice in music has always been very eclectic. Although I still really enjoy classical, these days I am more likely to listen to…
Grant asked me not long ago how I can sleep at night after listening to such “rousing” music. He imagines I get my brain stirred up, I suppose. I don’t normally listen late at night, but it certainly doesn’t keep me awake.
His choice is “rave” music, which I also like, except to my ear it all sounds much the same.
The gold writing there says “Dragon”, or I guess it’s supposed to. Two Steps From Hell Is an American production company formed in 2006 by a Norwegian, Thomas Bergersen and a Brit., Nick Phoenix.
They have written music for some well known films: Interstellar, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean and X-Men.
“Dragon”, is my current favorite, but I really like “Vanquish” too. It produces images in my head, like a movie, just as certain pieces of classical music do.
The title “New World Symphony” sort of gives away what Dvorak was trying to portray, and I always pictured the American West. Something about the image of horses running in the wide open spaces stirs me.
When my dad played “Swan Lake” I would sit picturing in my mind the whole ballet. I wanted to be a choreographer!
Dreaming up imaginary scenes is so distracting. Certainly better than sitting there just having a big think.
For me, that has not always been the best thing to do.
Two more favourites. The trouble is, when I fall for a piece of music I can’t stop listening and then eventually I ruin it for myself. I have heard other people say they do this, so maybe it’s not just me.
I do watch the cats, to make sure none of the sounds I listen to disturbs them. So far they don’t seem to notice, one way or the other.
My parents had a budgie once that liked Chopin. Birds definitely respond to all sorts of sounds.
My aunty Win had a little dog that was disturbed. She objected to human speech. Anybody’s and everybody’s. Her response was to bark as only a Jack Russell can. It rather killed conversation. Poor Chini. It was not her fault. Nor my aunt’s. She just had loose screws. She had actually been rejected by a clergyman.
I do still go back to my old passion:
Here is a piece of music that pierces my soul.
Something about deep Russian voices and the sound of the Russian language too, perhaps.
I enjoy almost any choir, but this is special.