Thursday, January 28, 2010

Music Speaks to the Soul

I am having a crazy-busy week. It might not seem so compared to the lives of some of you, but it does to me. I am working on a number of things, and I don't seem to multitask well any longer.

This makes me feel like I am fragmenting into many pieces, and flying in several directions under centrifugal force. I am not sure I am getting anywhere in a linear sense, but I am getting somewhere in an energetic sense.

Taxes. Financial aid paperwork. Financial planning. Volunteer applications. Writing. Guild work. Sewing. Travel planning. Laundry. Cleaning. Telephone follow-up. Email follow-up. Mail follow-up. Paying bills. Brainstorming. Resource-gathering. Praying. Reading. Listening. Setting appointments. Attending appointments. Haircut.

The one thing that is calm right now is music.

Last night, Gregg, David and I went to hear Itzhak Perlman perform with, and conduct, the Seattle Symphony orchestra. The evening was "Mainly Mozart," which is a series offered by the Symphony each year. We bought tickets to 3 concerts, and in doing so, we saved money. We also got to customize our series. It's fun to do, because we sit together with the catalog and ask one another what music and performers we most want to hear in the coming season; then we put our own package together. We allowed David to choose for us this year.

Last year, we signed up for 3 concerts, and on one of the occasions, a performer had to substitute for the headliner. Fortunately, the sub was SUPERB. I mean, he moved us deeply with his mastery of the violin...and he was playing a Stradivarius!

As we listened to the gifted Mr. Perlman last night, I was struck by the differences between his playing and the young artist we heard on the violin last year. I thought, Perhaps this is what would be the difference between making love with a man in his 20s and a man in his 60s. The young man played with strength and sensitivity, passion and energy. His performance was kinetic and breathtaking; it was awe-inspiring. By contrast, Mr. Perlman played with such innate knowledge and experience as to make his performance look nearly effortless, like an extension of his breathing and his being. So deep is his awareness and understanding of the music - and the instrument - that he appeared to be one with them both. He seemed to be participating in the music, rather than creating sounds. The word "maestro" comes to mind, in a full and complete sense.

As I was listening to the music, I recalled a clip that I saw last week of the Gospel singer Wintley Phipps, speaking about music as a universal language, and about God's work in his life. Mr. Phipps was speaking on the set of the upcoming movie, "Letters to God," which will be released in April. Please, if you have a few minutes, watch this clip and hear his voice. And if you are ready to be moved, watch the trailer for the movie. I have shed tears over both of these clips. There are several others on the movie's site under the tab, "On-Set Devos" that are inspiring and worth watching. I hope to have more news for you about the movie's premiere soon.

Music is a gift in our lives. I am so thankful that there are artists who are willing to work to create such beauty and inspiration, and to share it with others (like our friend Linda Watson, who is an opera singer). And I am thankful for the privilege of hearing Mr. Perlman last night, and sharing it with David and Gregg.


Karen said...

I couldn't agree with you more about music and the soul. It is a light piercing the darkness. Thanks for the links. I watched them both and as I sit here with tears on my cheeks, found them very moving. I hadn't heard of the movie and will look forward to seeing it and taking my grandchildren.
Karen, you always lift my heart. Blessings on you dear friend.

Anonymous said...

I love Itzak Perlman, jealous that you got to hear him! Am going to hear Lang Lang, the pianist, next week - listen to him if you have not already, very sensitive.

Keep your head above water Karen!

Irene x

deb said...

I won't pretend to be as knowledgeable in classical music as you, but I know that I love all music at various times.
I'm looking forward to checking out the links you posted.
And that picture is so beautiful, Karen.

Anonymous said...

UGH ~ I am right there with you with paperwork, tax prep, data entry, and the dreaded FAFSA! Glad you could relax and have such a wonderful evening. =] L. in AK said...

Only you would draw that parallel between sex and music (you fox, you!). But-- I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU MEAN!

Love you --

Elizabeth said...

It sounds like a beautiful night. The power of music is so hard to articulate, and you did it beautifully.

KBL 2 ORD 2 SAN 2 LUV said...

Thank you Karen, you are right, it does speak to the soul. I am so thrilled you were able to see him live. What a treat for you and your guys.

I love your sense of style too...I am in total adoration of your tunic topic with all those juicy colors in that photo.

Maggie May said...

i also agree about music and the soul. sometimes, it is the only thing.

Busy Bee Suz said...

What a wonderful voice that man has!!! He reached right into my soul.
I get you on the busy part..even though we don't hold 'JOBS' can get pretty hectic.
Hugs to you and your family,

Kay said...

Watched the movie trailer... and wow. Tears! I didn't know about this movie. Thanks for showing it to us. :) Yes... music reaches the heart when little else can sometimes.

Karla said...

Sound like you had a wonderful time at the concert. Your comparison made me giggle, but isn't it the truth. Thank God for music as it can express/capture joy, grief, love, and so many emotions that are not always easy to put into words...more importantly it can provide so much comfort.