Sunday, June 25, 2006

Sunday Scribblings


Music has threaded its way through my life, it has nourished my soul, sometimes I realised that, sometimes I didn't. It is something that I might not think about for a few days at a time, then suddenly a vast need and craving wells over me to hear and be uplifted by it. I can surface from sleep, snatches of a melody playing in my mind, anything from a tune from my youth to a snippet of a vast orchestral work. There always seems to be a piece of music that you can listen to that reflects how you feel and what is happening to you in your life at that time.

I can place music in every stage of my life. My earliest memory, is of jigging up and down, not even old enough to dance around properly, at a family gathering to a song popular at the time 'Papa Piccolina'. My father played the piano and my childhood revolves around and is interspersed with Chopin nocturnes, waltzs and mazurkas, coupled with his other great love Gilbert and Sullivan light operas, which I would stand by the piano and sing whilst he played. I can still sing along with these word perfectly if I hear them now, many years later. For eight years I had piano lessons, which I thoroughly enjoyed, with a strict but wonderful music teacher, whose death coupled with teenage truculence, led me to abadoning the instrument. I was told I would regret it, I had won a cup in a local festival and was passing my music exams with flying colours, but heyho I was young and rebellious, so who cares. If I am truthful, I do now, but in retrospect, who could tell your younger self, that because life, to that self is long and there is plenty of time, but how quickly that time flies, and suddenly it is maybe too late to go back for various reasons.

Then there is the music of youth, which can transport you back to a specific time and still give you a rush when you hear those tunes. The last family holiday we all had together, me lying on an English beach 'Yellow Submarine' by The Beatles blaring from my transistor radio that was constantly by me; end of year school dance, finishing with Procul Haram's 'Whiter Shade of Pale'; standing at a music festival soaked to the skin grooving to the Grateful Dead's 'Trucking' and 'Sugar Magnolia'.

There are musical delights that you unexpectedly come across such as walking into a quiet cathedral to look at the architecture and coming upon the organist practising a Bach tocata and fugue that surges and fills the vast space, or walking on a summer night and hearing a violin sonata wending its way out of open windows into the night. There is music that to me is quintessentially English and could be written by no other nationality, like Vaughan Williams, 'Lark Ascending', a piece that restores me if I am sad and always lifts my soul. How can I explain why I feel he is the epitome of Englishness, I can't as I can not explain why, to me, Debussy could be no other nationality than French.

Music is always part of me like breathing, some days I may not take a great deal of notice of it, but if it was not there, I would feel I was not properly alive.

10 comments:

snappy said...

I love all types of music too, and it can always send me back in time to various people and places.I love that Bach Tocatta and fugue, the haunting cathedral music.I have never heard it in a church but it would be magic as the notes rise and fall, then echo.
A good musical piece i like is Soundtrack from Braveheart.It always brings me up from being down with its irish pipes and stiring songs.Sending healing vibes to you from Yorkshire in your sad time.

Alice said...

Such a lovely and thoughtful posting, Daisy. Music can indeed stir the emotions and the memories in wonderful ways. I think the earliest piece of music I remember is Dvorak's Humoresque which I heard on a neighbour's radio when I was 4 years old. We didn't have a radio at that time.

You're right about there being something unique and evocative about music from the British Isles. We visited Truro Cathedral one afternoon not long before we left England in 1993. The boys choir was practising in the Cathedral and the sound was truly heavenly. Even the ladies from the gift shop came out to listen.
They said that the boys normally practised in the crypt and they couldn't hear them.

Michael Ball and Katherine Jenkins are the most played singers on my iPod, too.

Nicole said...

I'm with you.... I need music to survive... It is almost as important to me as the blood running through my veins. Beautiful post Daisy...xox.

ms*robyn said...

Hi Daisy - so excited that you want to join the next swap! email me (my email address is on my profile) and I will tell you the details - now I am off to read this post. hope you are ok xox
ps - thanks for all the support with my blog - it is so much appreciated xoxo

AnnieElf said...

Good morning Daisy. I'm so glad to see you here and feeling up to writing. I hope you have been listening to "Lark Ascending". I agree Vaughn Williams could be nothing other than English.

"Louie, Louie" puts me back in my last year of high school. All the music that over here we call "Vietnam Era" music, drops me immediately into memories of the late 60s and early 70s. Such is the power of music.

vicci said...

Hi Daisy!!! Music is wonderful!!!! I love the post...and the picture! Guess what??!! I mailed your atc's!

PEA said...

Music has always been a part of my life too and so many songs will remind me of a period in my life...my mom was always playing country music but when I got in my teens I started to listen to CCR, Elvis, The Guess Who, etc, and to this day still have to have music on no matter what I'm doing:-)

Kari said...

It is great that you took the time to acknowledge the importance of music in our lives, I am just learning the folk harp at the ripe ole age of (ahem) mumble, mumble, because I have recently begun to enjoy Scottish folk music.

Sorry to read about your dear cat, Pixie, having lost a cat just after Christmas (old age), I understand your sadness.

Time to treat yourself to a remembrance CD maybe?

Kari x

Rosa said...

Seems music has been on a lot of minds lately. I love music and always having it playing in my house and in my car. My mother always had a little radio in our kitchen playing either country and western or music from the 40s. It's always been a part of my life.

~ Tracy ~ said...

Your post spoke to me. I love music & it helps to lift my spirits. :)