Tuesday, March 6, 2007

the mysterious sounds of music

What is it that makes music such a singular event for people? Riley brought her iPod along to school today, and had me listen to Korn. While I liked the music, I am not hearing what she hears. The flipside of that is true for her when she listens to Frank Sinatra. She does not hear I what I hear. When I listen to Frank, I hear rock-solid trumpets, wailing up in the high register and never missing a note. I hear trombones that give me goosebumps. I hear Frank singing and I can see him; see his gestures and feel his pain. Riley hears an old guy singing about "boring stuff." When I hear Geddy Lee play bass, I can see him on stage in 100+ degree temps, his fingers dripping with sweat and occasionally sliding off the strings. I can see him interacting with Alex and Neil and I can feel their music. Some people feel nothing when they hear him play. When I hear Rosemary Clooney sing, I am captured by her luxurious phrasing, her completely captivating lower register, and I can see her smiling and singing her way through White Christmas. I heard Karen Carpenter this morning on my Sirius radio, and I thought for moment; will the world ever know a singing talent as rich as she was? Her voice sends shivers down my spine; makes the world feel right for just a moment. Listening to Eddie Van Halen on Eruption reminds me of that feeling you get on Christmas Eve; full of anticipation for what is to come. Hearing Kenny Putnam make his strings sing makes me feel as though I am flying. The depths of my soul are triggered by many different types of music. My daughter listens to a lot of music lately with a lot of screaming. I just hear screaming. She, however, hears lyrics which perfectly match the stage she is going through; the angst of the pre-teen years and the righting of the ship of emotions that besets us all at that age. I think this is why I am so enamored of music in general; the thought that everyone is touched by it differently, and there is ultimately no explanation for how someone will react to any given piece of music. When I hear Paul McCartney singing "Silly Love Songs", I'm at the Canistota pool swimming and losing my favorite earring and eating a chic-o-stick and smelling chlorine in my swimming towel and riding home with the windows down and wet hair on the back of the seat. What do you hear?

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