Thursday, September 22, 2005

The Music Meme Part II: Return of the Music Meme

Rusticus at Solarvoid has tagged me for a music meme. I did a version of this on my own a few months back, but, heck, I don't mind doing it again, especially since my responses have changed since then.

1) How much music do I have?

About 100 CDs on my CD shelf. I had a ton of mp3s, but they were accidentally deleted when I reformated my hard drive. *sob*

2) What was the last CD I bought?

Glass Hammer's latest, The Inconsolable Secret. Like Rusticus, I don't tend to buy CDs anymore. This was an exception.

3) What am I listening to right now?

As in, right at this moment? The whirr of my laptop. Oh, you mean musically. Glass Hammer's The Inconsolable Secret. Superb prog (my favorite non-orchestral genre) and one of the most successful "concept" albums in prog history. Inconsolable Secret is one of those albums that creeps up on you. All of Glass Hammer's albums are like that -- after the second or third time you listen through you realize how incredible the music is. The Curmudgeon (also a big Glass Hammer fan) reviews the album with enthusiasm. You can listen to clips from the album on the Glass Hammer website.

4) Five songs I listen to that mean a lot to me?

The first time I did this I listed songs that had meaning and also songs I just liked listening to at the time, since that's what the question asked. That's not in the spirit of this version of the meme, so now I am only listing songs that have meaning for me. In no particular order...

i. "Junkyard Angel" (Glass Hammer) - When I really like a song, I listen to it over and over for weeks. I was listening to this one repeatedly a few years ago when my then-new husband surprised me with a confession that he had been an international volunteer (derogatively referred to as a mercenary) in the Bosnian war. He related a particularly heart-wrenching story to me that had been tearing at him for years. That story is forever tied to this song, and I find that I can't listen to it anymore.

ii. "Luke and Leia " (John Williams) - John Williams is the indisputible modern king of leitmotif, as anyone who has seen the Star Wars movies can attest to. This particular piece is from the Return of the Jedi soundtrack, and accompanies the scene where Leia discovers that Luke is her brother, and Luke is about to leave to confront Vader. This lovely and touching piece is very much a "Luke and Leia" theme, reflecting the special bond between brother and sister. It always reminds me of the friendship I have with my own brother, Carnaby, who is my Irish twin (we're 11 months apart), though he's never been on a quest to destroy an evil emperor.

iii. "Piano Concerto No. 21" (Mozart) - This was the music for my wedding march. Everybody was using Pachelbel's Canon in D at the time, and I wanted to do something different. This serene piece captured perfectly how I felt about marrying the best man I've ever known.

iv. "Nessun Dorma" [No One Sleeps] (Puccini) - From the opera Turandot. My mother played this for us when we were children, and it haunted me for years. I never knew that something could be so sad and beautiful.

v. "Ilia's Theme" and "The Cloud" (Jerry Goldsmith) - There are two contemporary composers who are capable of genius. The first is, of course, John Williams of Star Wars soundtrack fame. The other is Jerry Goldsmith, who composed the soundtrack for my favorite movie of all time, Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Like Williams' scores, the genius of this soundtrack is the way it becomes an absolutely essential component of the story, and yet can stand on its own as a work of great power. "Ilia's Theme" hit me square in the chest the first time I heard it. It's so beautiful that it's almost unbearable. And yet it takes on an extra level of poignancy once you've watched the movie and understand Ilia's fate. "The Cloud" captures perfectly the awe and mystery of the enigmatic entity in the movie, known as V'ger. I've always wanted to create a planetarium show featuring "The Cloud," because, for me, this piece also captures the absolute awe and mystery of our incredible universe.

5) I’m passing this meme on to:

Kevin at The Smallest Minority
The Curmudgeon at Eternity Road
Jeff at Alphecca


Blogger Francis W. Porretto said...

Hah! You fiend!

9/22/2005 3:23 PM  

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