Archive for the ‘music’ Category

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Broken

August 9, 2015

Antique-PianoI’m a pianist. I’ve been playing the piano for as long as I’ve been walking. Apparently as soon as I could stand I was over at the piano trying to play so it was only natural for me to have lessons from a very early age. I might not be a professional and I’m certainly a bit more rusty nowadays but nevertheless, I’m a pianist. Music is embedded deep in my soul, it’s part of me and I can’t imagine life without it.

So imagine my horror earlier today when some friends posted online that their work to transform a piano into a desk was well under way!!! :O  I was horrified and literally just shouted noooooooo, sacrilege! I told them that they couldn’t kill a piano. They replied it was beyond hope and they were giving it a new purpose. I’ve no problem with recycling or transforming things, but IT’S A PIANO!! It’s not just a piece of furniture, it’s a musical instrument, carefully and amazingly constructed to produce beautiful sounds. You can’t just abandon it as not fit for purpose (perhaps that’s a sad reflection on life today but that’s for another post.) It should be cared for, restored, repaired, re-tuned and returned to its former glory. It shouldn’t have all its musical wonders removed (that picture almost made me cry) & left as an empty shell, a case, a mere shadow of its former self.

The series of photos which followed really bothered me and drove me to my own piano. I just had to sit & play. And as I did, memories of my piano playing past resurfaced, memories of my Mum listening, memories of my first solo in public, memories of exams and practice. Emotional memories. And that’s just as it should be. A piano should inspire, emote, transfix and so many other things. It’s not just a piece of furniture, it has a heart and soul of its own.

So this evening I’m emotional. I mourn the loss of a piano. Madness you say? No, just the power of a piano to a pianist.

 

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A symphony of words

February 19, 2014

words1One of my bug bears is incorrect grammar and spelling.  You know the sort of thing “let’s eat Grandma v let’s eat, Grandma” or “eats shoots and leaves“.  I’m particularly fussy when it comes to this sort of thing & I often cringe at the things which are written in our newspapers and even said on the BBC News.  I mean if the BBC can’t get it right …!

Anyway moving on.  Today I came across a great article Grammar Is a Marketer’s Best Friend.  I love it!  It talks about how we shouldn’t “fling more words and punctuation into the online ether in the hopes that some of them will evolve into sentences, paragraphs, blog posts, white papers, and eBooks” we should stop & think and make sure that those words are actually being used effectively and saying the things that they should be saying.

As a marketer, all I can say is here here.

Words shouldn’t complicate our messages, they should enhance them, make things clearer for our target audiences and give them the information that they want and need in a easy to understand way.  It’s a shame that more people don’t pay attention to these simple points.  They shouldn’t be ideals that we all strive for, they should just happen.  Period.

My favourite paragraph in the whole article appears right at the end:

“When words and punctuation are brought together, something magical happens: grammar, yes, but not only grammar. Music. If words and sentences are the notes in the score, punctuation marks are the rests, and the marketer, the marketer whose best friend is grammar, is the director.”

As a advocate on the importance of music in our lives, I love the idea that words are music.  The thought that an article or a book is not simply a collection of words thrown together in any old way but a symphony of words assembled together in a beautiful way for the education, pleasure and perhaps entertainment of the reader is perfect.

I have no words to describe my feelings but I’m humming a tune!

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The power of music

January 27, 2014

So there you are, listening to music and suddenly you find yourself in tears.  Ever happened to you?

It seems to be happening to me a lot recently and there’s just nothing I can do about it.  Yes, I know I’m still in a pretty emotional state of mind after everything that’s happened recently but never has it been so apparent to me just how powerful music actually is on your state of mind.  I’ve spoken to a few people recently who have confirmed that music has a similar effect on them, not just in the immediate aftermath of loss but many years later, and not always following negative times or events.  It seems that music is a media which is really able to stir our thoughts and memories and bring us back to that point of raw emotion almost at the flick of a switch.

I must admit that I’m finding Sundays incredibly difficult at the moment and that’s because my Church is by nature very musical.  I’ve advocated in the importance of music for so long and I cannot imagine life without it but right now, right in these days of such immense pain, I’m really struggling with it and I’m struggling not because it is bringing out any particular memories and not because the music has any specific relevance.  I can’t even explain what it is, I just know that music is bringing me to tears incredibly easily.  To be honest it’s quite an emotional rollercoaster & I seem to be coming away feeling almost physically drained and just so raw and fragile and vulnerable.  And it’s at times like these that I just need people to be there for me, to talk to me, to distract me, to comfort me.  No, if I’m really honest I don’t even need all of that, in reality I just want them to be there for me and to hold me.  And right now, despite the support & understanding of one or two people I’m not really finding that anywhere and that makes things feel even more raw.

So what to do?  I’m told that in time it gets easier, that our minds are able to remember happy times but I’m also told that even in many years, music can still have that powerful effect on us and bring memories flooding back alongside the tears.  Hmm, not sure that’s something to look forward to but in the meantime I guess I need to keep carrying a packet of tissues around with me!!

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The unopened letter

March 1, 2011

Well this evening I opened a letter that arrived this morning from the University of Sheffield.  Thinking it was nothing important I hadn’t been in a rush to read it sooner – I wish I had thought.  Why?  Well because I opened up that plain brown envelope to find my returned assignment inside.  It was an essay I wrote over Christmas about Rodrigo the Spanish classical composer and his famous Concerto de Aranjuez.  I was delighted to see that I’d got 70%!  Go Moonflowers, go! 🙂

I’m one happy bunny tonight & will fall asleep amidst thoughts & dreams of Spanish and one of my favourite pieces of classical music.  How cool is that? 😀

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Legacy (Year in Photos 2011)

January 30, 2011

Today’s photo of the day is a blatant plug – but if you cant blow your own trumpet …. 😉 (excuse the pun)

Here’s the latest CD from The Sheffield Citadel Band of the Salvation Army, entitled “Legacy” – a tribute to the music of the late Jim Wright.  Well worth a listen & a bargain at just 12 of your English pounds.  For more details, go to sheffieldcitadelband.wordpress.com/


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Memory evoking melodies (Year in photos 2011)

January 9, 2011

I know I’ve written on previous occasions about the importance of music in the world.  For me, music is always around me & different melodies remind me of different events, places, people & times in my life.  I can listen to the same tune for weeks on end without getting fed up with it.  In fact the CD I have in my car at the moment has been there since October!  It’s just this particular music is speaking to me at the moment.  So I think that particular tunes & melodies can be associated with particular things & events etc in our lives.

Does a song on the radio ever just bring memories flooding back to you?  Well that’s what I’m talking about.  I think that’s the reason why I havent listened to some music for a couple of years or so now, because if I did, well then the images which would come to mind might be just too difficult for me to remember.  So as a means of evasion, I just havent listened to them.  Perhaps it’s easier that way?  Hmm.

Anyway, over the past few days I’ve been inspired – or perhaps that’s not the right word, maybe it should be challenged to change this.  I’ve challenged myself to start playing the piano again.  It’s been sitting in the corner of the room, almost redundant for a couple of years or so now.  I get too involved with music, it’s too powerful for me not to become involved and so my evasive mechanism kicked in so that I avoided those images by just not playing or hearing them.

Well things are changing a little now.  I’ve sat back down on that piano stool & I’ve started to play some of those memory invoking melodies again.  Time will tell whether or not I manage to override those images, perhaps I shouldnt try to forget them?  Perhaps I should just learn to live with them & accept them.  I don’t know but I’ve giving it a go at least.

Memory Evoking Melodies

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Can you live without music?

June 23, 2009

Well today I’ve read yet more news about how music can positively impact on your well-being has been revealed.

I’m a strong believer in the importance of music in our lives, both spiritually & mentally.  I’ve read a number of reports in recent months which discuss the benefits music can have on our health:  helping dementia patients; giving sight back to stroke sufferers; improving the social fabric of society.

Today I read about the holistic benefits of music, how listening to some types of music can slow down your heart and lower your blood pressure .  Yet more evidence I believe that you just cant live without music.

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