An inner melody

In the stairhouse of the Franz Liszt Musicschool in Weimar he seemed to be listening carefully to some divine music that the rest of us couldn't hear. Photo by Dalla

My mother tells a story of finding me once standing outside the balcony of our apartment in the middle of a thunderstorm with my arms outstretched pretending I was conducting the weather. Bach's Toccata e Fuga in D minor played loudly from our stereo inside the living room. The way she tells it, I had set the needle to the record player, cranked up the volume real high and with my stage all set, I stepped into the pouring rain. That's how she found me. Grinning from ear to ear while getting soaked. Later, while she dried me out, she demanded to know what I'd been thinking. The truth was that I had wanted to pretend I was Mickey Mouse, like in the movie Fantasia, in that scene where he directs the water while Dukas' the Sorcerer's Apprentice plays. All I had wanted was to be like Mickey. I wanted to command a storm. Could the music I chose to do so have been any more appropriate?

Music, has always been a decider of moods for me. I place great weight on what I choose to listen to daily because invariably, it sets the tone. I put it on, but whatever I play, conducts me, commands me. Does this make any sense?

I've always felt that music of any kind has immense power. I must be about the gadjillionth person to say so but that doesn't make it any the less true. We listen to music for pick me ups, for let me downs and everything else in between. Raise your hand any of you who cannot identify some moment of your life with one unforgettable melody. Should it be dissonance and noise, even that is an identifier. You don't exist do you? Unless, you who reads me, is someone who can truly, not hear.

I love my ability to sense, taste, see and touch but I think that should I ever lose any sensorial capacity, perhaps the one I would miss the most, would be my ability to detect sound. Sound guides and paints for me. All sound really. Even its lack thereof. Sometimes, I hum myself internally to sleep. That is the best kind of oneness with myself, the one that leads me into silence.

I love to sing. I love harmonies being put together, many voices working as one. I love surges and ebbs in melodies. Great oceans of tones melding and separating. I love great and small silences and the short respite of empty spaces. Music is one of my greatest joys.

What brought this reverie on? My son too loves music. That makes me incredibly happy. It will help and hold him all his life and I truly believe, that this is a blessing like few others.

To hear my voice reading this post, click here.


  1. what a great post! i never thought to select my music daily as the dictator of my mood and saying that now feels strange - like I should have thought it, like it's a no-brainer. Sometimes I fall so short of the obvious I wonder how I've made it so far in life on my own :P

  2. Wish I could remember how I came upon your blog, but I found it today and already feel like I need to come back.

    Beautiful post. I can relate to feeling a strong bond to music and sound, although the only instrument I can play is my voice :) I'm not much for using my I-pod (except to entertain on bike rides), but I am singing all the time, it seems.

    Your son is beautiful....

    Have a great week.

  3. What a great idea to give the idea of your voice for a post on music. Music makes us more keenly aware of life, its moods, and its storms. (Oh, and you have a great voice - you could read for audio books, as I'm sure your son would agree.)

  4. Hi,

    I found your blog through Half Past Kissin' Time and I really love this post! I agree with you about music though you said it much better than I could. If I'm anywhere, I have got to have music as well (right now, Strawberry Fields Forever is playing).

    Have a wonderful day!

  5. Dear Amy: Your comment made me laugh. Especially since I KNOW how smart you are. The music thing can backfire you know. When it's a day for sorry tunes then, I feel even more depressed. I try and pick the happy ones always. I've told you before how melodies have a habit of parking themselves in my head.

    Half Past Kissing: Your blog is a delight. I really enjoyed my visit and will make my way back to you often. Everything about your writing is fresh and sweet.

    Ron hi: It sounded terrible. You are being kind. Gone are the days of recording in a sound studio and on DAT tape. As you can see, my refrigerator hum was holding place of honor in the recording. Still, it felt appropriate to read it (just as you said) being that it was a post on sound.

    Dear Sari: Hello to you too. Thanks for stopping by. Oh! That's one of my favorite songs. I know pretty much all the words to nearly every well known Beatles song. Courtesy of my younger sister who was and is a great fanatic. We harmonized all the time she and I to Beatles music. Have you heard Ben Harper's version of it? You can find it on the soundtrack to the movie I am Sam. Highly recommend it. True to the original with the sweetest orchestration by Ben.

  6. Great post. I love music too- when I had my awful nightmares as a little girl it was the soothing song Dust in the Wind that suddenly calmed my fear...I discovered it by accident.

    I remember feeling really bad one day and the song Morning Has Broken came on and it just lifted me right up! I never thought of deciding my music to make my mood vs playing music to match my mood. I need to try that.

  7. Dear Sister Sassy: Thanks. I was going to tell you that Dust in the Wind had kind of the same effect for me as you describe. I don't remember when I heard exactly nor where but I do remember that I played it and played and played it again. Some music is like that. You have to incorporate into your system because it fits into you for whatever reason.

    I don't know Morning has Broken. I will have to check it out. Try it. It can change the tenor of the day. I promise.


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