Monday, June 21, 2010

The language of emotion

I'm going to test new waters and pretend to know something about music.  Sounds are so beautiful, whether they are the spoken music of a foreign language, the sound of rain gushing out of downspouts, or classical music.  I haven't taken the time to become skillful enough with any instruments, though that has long been an ambition of mine.  One piece of music I like is Ravel's orchestration of "Bydlo", the fourth movement of Mussorgsky's suite "Pictures at an Exhibition".  While listening to the music, we are to imagine a lumbering oxcart's journey.  The movement begins quietly, builds gradually, and then fades, suggesting the oxcart approaching, passing the listener, and then receding.  An ox is a massive animal with incredible strength, and the music reflects its great power well.  If you feel you are straining under an emotional load and need some cathartic release, listen to Bydlo here.

When I was a little kid, I remember marching all around the house banging on metal pots and pans with wooden spoons to the tune of "March of the Toys" from Babes in Toyland.  I wouldn't dream of depriving my kids of the same opportunity!  

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