15 January, 2009

Insert Cheesy Title Here

I can barely describe the feeling I want to explain in this post.

Occasionally, I hear a piece of music, either instrumental or in a language I don't understand, that is SO pure....SO exquisite I simply want to....

Cry?

Melt?


Die?

Those aren't very positive words, but that's as close as I can come.... Something about these rare pieces make me want to change my physical form and....what? Leave my body and become the music? I don't know. All I know is that they make me feel large and small at once. Happy and sad.....but inspired, full of Light....and....peace.

Maybe that's it, Peace.


Whatever this phenomenon is, I'd like to share the melodies that cause it.

I first discovered the feeling while watching the Jody Foster movie Contact. I decided it was my favorite movie, and asked for the soundtrack for Christmas. I haven't seen the movie since, but the music, by Alan Silvestri (Beowulf, Forrest Gump, The Polar Express), still holds me in its power.

I couldn't find it online, but THIS cheesy website uses the main theme in the background. Incidentally, the site is called Pathways to Peace.

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Next, I was introduced to Howard Shore, and the magic simplicity of the Shire with: Concerning Hobbits. (See player below for the rest of the songs)

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Followed by Renata Tebaldi's O Mio Babbino Caro on Pavarotti's Opera Made Easy: My favorite Opera for Everyone. (I could not find that recording, but Sissel does a beautiful job. I also liked the Renee Fleming one, but her strong vibrato can distract from the purity of the sound.

Listen to those high notes! It just makes me feel....

I have no words.

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Next, representing my college years, we have Always with Me, from the Spirited Away Soundtrack. This woman wrote and performed the song, accompanying herself on the LYRE! She was a fan who sent her beautiful work to Mr. Miyazaki (The Disney of Japan--popularity wise, not style wise). It was inspired by a previous movie, but worked well for Spirited Away so it was included as the closing Theme.

You are not allowed to say you don't like Anime until you have seen at least two or three Miyazaki movies. Suggestions? Spirited Away (in English or Japanese), Castle in the Sky (Don't watch it in English, Mark Hamil as the bad guy is fun, but the rest is ridiculous), and Howl's Moving Castle (with the title character voiced by Christian Bale).

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Finally, we have the song I scoured the
internet for all morning. Eventually, I found it by typing "Modern Traditional" in google. It has been stuck in my head for a few days, but I couldn't remember the name! I have heard it several times, originally on American Tapestry by Jenny Oaks Baker and Jenny Richards, but couldn't remember where I'd heard it.

So here's Ashokan Farewell.



Enjoy your passage into my head!






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7 comments:

Rich Sanders said...

I think the word you're looking for is Cathartic. And I know exactly what you mean. Some songs at just the right times make me feel like I'm going to jump out of my skin... in a good way. Some music you can just connect with the passion pouring out of the instruments or the vocals.

Incidentally I used to be one of those people who wrote off anime as "a bunch of crap" before ever seeing much of it. And .. I'm still of the opinion that most of it does probably suck. But some friends convinced me to sit through Full Metal ALchemist, all of it. And, despite some frequent but brief moments when everyone breaks characters and behaves in unacceptably stupid ways and says things that are completely retarded--and the animation suddenly starts sucking (all of this is part of the anime style that gives it a bad name, and rightfully)....but anyway, when it's NOT doing that. And the characters are in character and the animation, music, and writing is sythesizing into a perfect scene... it is gripping, and emotional, and one of the best stories ever told on screen. A rival for the best. I can't think of a better one off the top of my head.

And much of the music in that is of the type you described. SO much so that I recently bought all the soundtracks to it, even though they are hard to find--and subsequently expensive. But certainly worth it.

Chiemi said...

The first song, Concerning Hobbits is great! It such a beautiful piece.

That second song is GORGEOUS!! I have never heard of it before, but now I need to get it. Thanks for introducing me to it.

I have to say I LOVE Howl's Moving Castle though I will only watch in it Japanese. I'm a little bit of a snob when it comes to anime. Almost all english voice actors trying to imitate and japanese anime style are awful. Japanese is the only way to go. Okay, getting off my soapbox... :)

Quixotic Healer said...

Chiemi!
I generally agree. I did enjoy the English for Howl, but I've never seen it in Japanese. I saw Castle in the Sky in Japanese first, and I wanted to laugh and hurl when I saw part of it in English!

Rich:
Yeah, a lot of Anime is....yeah. I've heard great stuff about Full Metal. I had a couple friends who really liked Bleach, and was recently introduced to Avatar, but I think I'm gonna wait for the movie (Shamalan Directs O.o) before investing in a long series.

Cathartic eh? I've been meaning to look up that word, get a better grasp on it.

Quixotic Healer said...

P.S. Rich, it's interesting what you say about "at just the right time" cause "Concerning Hobbits" doesn't really do it for me anymore, I still really like it, but it doesn't hold the same power.

Rich Sanders said...

Yeah. Also someone's mood at any particular time can help them be connected with, or disjointed from, the ... soul ... of any particular piece.

Quixotic Healer said...

I looked up Cathartic, lol, I think that's right. The best word for it.

Rich Sanders said...

But yeah... ability ot have catharsis is one of the more interesting truths of of our humanity, I think. To me it is yet another thing validating the idea that we are more than just the sum of our parts, or the dust of our planet.