Monday, May 30, 2011

Music is medicine, music is sanity

I am not a brilliant musician - I have none of the ability to play in the fine felt way my son plays his guitar. But I love to play; at the moment it is an acoustic bass - an instrument that gives me joy just standing there in its maple-wood beauty.

When I pick it up, I love the weight of it, the curve of it, the way it fits across my body, and when I touch the thick, heavy strings, I love the voice that comes. Not my own voice, but somehow from me. I love the patterns I make, patterns that weave with other patterns creating an astonishing texture that is rhythm and sound, and something more that it's hard to put a finger on. In becoming part of a piece of music, I slough off my life - its anxieties and concerns and busyness - and I am 'other' at the same time as I am deeply myself. The best self. Unburdened.

In this TED piece, violinist Robert Gupta talks about the genius schizophrenic musician Nathaniel Ayers (whose life was portrayed in the movie The Soloist), and how he saw in this man's eyes the redemptive power of music; and how that look reminds him why he first came to music, and continues to play. Below the TED vid. is the most exquisite piece: Gupta playing 'Passacaglia' with cellist Joshua Roman.  This is about the connection between two musicians released from their skins and meeting somewhere in between that is ... celestial.


Bookman Beattie said...

What about a photo of that beautiful maple wood acoustic bass? I'd love to see it, it certainly sounds like a thing of great beauty.

KAT ADL'S said...

He speaks well. I see this all the time with music and it truly never fails to fill me with wonder. I love how it stitches different people together ands its ability to reach into dark places. I am surrounded by musicians in my family and as a music appreciator (the world needs them too :) I LOVE it!
I emailed my friend Jane Malthus re wallpaper and this is her reply.I am still searching.

"Have looked at your lovely wallpaper and sundry of my resources here, but no definitive answers popping up. My thinking is that it is early twentieth century rather than later - because I think it would be more stylized if it was later than 1920s. Crysanthemums and daisy like flowers were quite popular on 1920s dress fabrics, then again in the 1940s. Not necessarily very helpful.....
lots of love to you and yours

Mary McCallum said...

Thanks Bookman and KAT - I will indeed put my bass up on the blog, and thanks KAT re the heads up on the wallpaper (for anyone else interested, KAT found layers of old wallpaper in her house and reported it on her blog - it fascinated me because it is covered with blue flowers and is very like the wallpaper I described in The Blue...)