The Magic of Music!

There was no music planned for today, but then I had some thoughts about music pieces being kinds of milestones! This was made very clear to me this past week … but I am getting ahead of myself,  so let me go back in time.

If I reflect musically, I am taken back to numerous recordings which made an impact such that they are associated with a particular time in my life. My father was an ardent lover of Classical music, and had little time for the “pop music” of the 1960’s (my teen years). My mother liked some classical, and some “pop”, but she really liked the soundtracks from musicals such as “Carousel”, Oklahoma” etc. I had an older sister (by 3 years) who was listening to Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Sal Mineo, Pat Boone etc.  My exposure to music during my teen years was therefore rather conducive to developing a broad range of musical tastes …. and I can revisit certain periods in my past simply by recalling the music.

Let me give you some examples:

Peter Lind Hayes – “Life Gets Tedious” … goes back to the late 1950’s and could well have been the first song I heard which I liked. It was unusual, creative and funny!

Lonnie Donegan – “Cumberland Gap” – Released in 1957, was my first 78rpm record, and I loved the skiffle rhythms.

Bruch’s – “Violin Concerto #1” (3rd Mvmt) – My first connection with a classical piece. I loved the violin tones and the speed of the piece. I later learned that 3rd Movements were typically written for a fast tempo. I was therefore “anointed” into the realm of Classical music by Max Bruch around  1960/61.

The Searchers – “Needles & Pins” – Came out in 1963, but I first heard it at the beginning of 1964 when I was living in a college across the other side of the country to my home.

During college, and for quite a few years thereafter, music was relegated to a rather insignificant position in my life due to unplanned career path changes and a social life, and then in the late 1960’s I met Les who had just moved into a house just round the corner to us. We shared a common interest in music and he introduced me to The Moody Blues “Question of Balance” album (and many others). He played guitar as a hobby (with dreams of public performances) and eventually influenced me sufficiently that I went out and bought one!

What does all this have to do with milestones? The above clearly suggests that music can take us to a specific point in time, and I would not be surprised if many (perhaps all) of you can travel back in time to a point dictated by music. However, this post was not started with the goal of reminiscing over music, but rather the potential ramifications of a journey into the past and being guided by music.

My very recent journey started when I was in FB, and came across an old photograph of Les (ref earlier comments). It was instant recognition because it was exactly how I remembered him, with very long and rather “out of control” hair! Given that there has been no communication since we moved to another part of town (and later emigrated), the question that came to mind was “What does one say to somebody after 50 years?”

The answer was very simple … say “Hi Les. Just found you by accident. Remember me?”

We are now in regular dialogue as we slowly recap our respective lives. Les is still playing his guitar and  has partnered with a lady who plays/teaches violin, and sings. They have formed a “contemporary folk” group (aka alternative folk), and were playing  pubs and clubs until COVID put an end to that. As I also maintained my musical interests (my book “Just Thinking” includes a number of pieces that were originally written as songs), we are currently in the process of sharing our musical endeavours!

… and all this came from music. Not only can significant time frames in my life be revisited  by way of a song, but a common interest in music was a catalyst to restore a 50 years old relationship.

Music does seem to have that ability to create memories, and if you cannot remember too much about specific times in your past, you probably will if you hear the appropriate song! I am enjoying the magic of music, especially during these COVID times … are you?

Life Gets Tedious –  https://meandray.com/2018/04/07/life-gets-tedious/

Cumberland Gap –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRUGuuz7yVo

Bruch’s Violin Concerto 3rd Mvmt –   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5Qhne9qZFY

Needles & Pins –   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFHpEINyZ-E

Question –   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NP9iOqdxS8c

“Soul Sacrifice”

Music is fascinating in that it has an ability to reach us in ways that are difficult to explain. A song can guide us into an emotional state for many reasons but, if the lyrics are either in a different language or are simply perplexing, then we can still be impacted by the vocal tones and/or the melody and musical arrangement. Take away the lyrics, and a whole new scenario presents itself. Continue reading