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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Soundtrack of My Life

I am working at my computer with this title playing from my iTunes collection:

Fantasia Para Un Gentilhombre: II-Españoleta y fanfare de la caballería de napoles: Adagio; Allegretto, molto ritmico; Tempo de españoleta

It was listening to this in 1995 that prompted me to write what follows. Not much has changed, but at the end, I do have an update - another song that had an impact as I was just engaging in important things that now occupy much of my time...

Flight 84. Chicago to Frankfurt.
Flying through the night. Listening to music.
Selected for my enjoyment by American Airlines.
Background for my reading.

Suddenly, I become keenly aware of what is playing.
A haunting melody. Something I have not heard before.
Guitar. Oboe.
I was captivated. Moved to tears.
What was THAT all about?
Music with no association to my life.
Yet it moved me.
And so it began.
And the search for answers.
Realizing my life had a soundtrack -
Songs, melodies, tunes.

I am moved by music.
Literally and figuratively.
Energized. Calmed.
Moved to laughter. And tears.
The questions.
How to describe the music that affects me so?
Why do I like what I do?
Why does it do these things to me?
So I search for answers,
listen to the music.
The soundtrack of my life.

How can I describe this music, "My" music?
Complex. Rich. Deep.
Enveloping me in its grip.
Strings. Percussion.
Music with a beat.
The rhythm of my life?
I listen, walk, notice my pace matches the music’s beat.
In tune, in step. The pace of my heartbeat.
A physical connection.

Another word to describe.
Minor chords. Even off-key.
Music that creates an out-of-focus picture.
Ethereal. Not to be completely captured.
Tell me part of the story.
Use words in a foreign language.
Make me think.
Paint the background. Leave the details to my imagination. Let me finish the story.

Tusk and Coventry Carol  play on my iPod.
Tusk, pounding percussion - the USC marching band playing backup for Fleetwood Mac.
It lifts me off the ground!
Coventry Carol. Soft and mellow as you can get.
Why Tusk and Coventry Carol?
I cannot tell you why.
Except that they are part of the soundtrack of my life.

The Moldau by Smetana.
A musical picture of a river flowing through the Czech Republic.
Tumbling over rocks in the mountains.
Flowing past a wedding party in a small village.
Passing majestically through Prague.
I see it all as the music weaves its magic.

Alegria, Mummer's Dance.
Ghost Riders in the Sky. Atchafalaya Pipeline.
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.
The City of New Orleans. Orinoco Flow.
Mystery. The romance of travel. Hard times.
Foot stomping rhythm. And the list goes on.

Spiritual songs.
How Great Thou Art -
I know why I am moved.
Standing on a mountaintop in North Carolina.
Singing. How Great Thou Art. And He was. And is.

En la Cruz. A night that changed my life.
Raquel's young face lifted up. A smile. A song on her lips.
Her face shining in the light of a citronella candle.
I did not know then. I do now.
A most important part of my soundtrack.

Blessed Assurance. I'll Fly Away. Amazing Grace.
Wonderful messages in song.
Revealing part of the answer...He gave us music.
To use in His praise, to be sure.
And to add to our enjoyment of the life He gives us.

So it is.
My life with its soundtrack.
I am happy.
Music, part of why I am and part of how I show it.

Flight 84.
Chicago to Frankfurt.
The music?
Fantasia Para Un Gentilhombre by Rodrigo.
It plays even now as I write these words,
Still moving me to tears.
Even now I do not know why.
Do I really want to know?
Or is this another mystery, part of the soundtrack?

The soundtrack of my life.
I do not really understand it.
But I know it is a gift.
From the Source of all music.

Thank you.

December, 2015 Update
Orange Blossom Special 
The Flying W Wranglers with the Colorado Springs Symphony Orchestra.
Maybe my most favorite favorite piece.
Because it is lively and rich;
because it carries me back to Africa...

April 2006, just a few days before the first Uganda trip.
No onboard entertainment this time;
no Walkman with all of the mix tapes;
no portable CD player.
I have a brand new iPod
I can listen to Orange Blossom Special ...

Over and over again it plays;
Flying over the Atlantic; then Europe,
the Mediterranean, the Sahara,
and finally into Entebbe.

I was immersed in anticipation, questions,
pondering the unknown;
doing a new "something for the first time."

The anthem of that trip in particular
and Africa in general was, is and always will be
Orange Blossom Special 
by The Flying W Wranglers
with the Colorado Springs Symphony Orchestra.

I do not really understand it.
But I know it is a gift.