American Tune

In honor of my resolution to enjoy music again, I’ve been singing some of my favorite songs for fun.  It is SO refreshing to make music outside of work again.  And with my handy dandy MacBook (hah), I made you a recording of a favorite song of Lucas and I.  I like it because it allows me to combine my love for both Paul Simon and Johann Sebastian Bach.  In case you don’t know, it combines these two because the melody is taken from Bach’s Passion Chorale “O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden (O head full of blood and wounds)”, which he uses in the St. Matthew Passion and again in the Christmas Oratorio.  I used to think, “oh, how ironic it is that Paul Simon’s ‘American Tune’ isn’t even an American tune.”  But recently I have realized that borrowing something from a different culture and calling it “American” is oh so Yankee.  So it’s totally American now, anyway.  And then Lucas informed me that not only did Paul Simon borrow it from Bach: Bach also borrowed it from an obscure German love song that was actually in 3/4.  So it started out as this very, very secular song by someone about whom nobody cares anymore, and became this poignant chorale of devotion to Christ’s suffering and death.

[This is by NO means a professional recording; just part of my practice session.  I used my built-in laptop speakers and recorded it in my dorm room, hence the bit of distant background noise of doors slamming near the beginning.]

Music is a Blessing

I was at an amazing concert early this evening, given by my younger brother and his friends at a local coffeeshop.  I loved all the songs, both originals and covers, and I loved seeing how much they are growing as individual musicians and as a team.  It was a joy just to watch how much they loved playing and worked hard to use their talents to make a really enjoyable concert experience.  I sat there, singing along and tapping my toes and generally having a good time, and then I realized:  I’m sitting here listening to these amazing amateur musicians, while I am two months away from a degree in music.  I could totally be doing this too.  People all around me are having the time of their lives making music.  My brother, my mom, my cousin, my grandfather, my friends, my fiancé…  And I only make music when I have to (like in concert band for school), and then I complain about it.  What is wrong with this picture?  I used to really love it.  And there are moments, few and far between, when I do.  But for the most part, it has become a job, a chore.  I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m “burned out” with music…I just need to rediscover it.  Besides, I want to be in love with music to pass that on to my children someday.  From now on, I’m going to try to find more opportunities to make music with my friends and family.  This means more singing along while Lucas plays piano, trying to get in some more piano lessons with him, playing flute duets with my flute friends, practicing guitar more, and randomly playing in hallways and sidewalks more.  Maybe I should try forcing myself to carry it around everywhere with me for a week.  I’ll also try to make some videos and post them here.  There!  by telling you readers (if there are any of you yet), I have a promise to uphold.  :)  Here’s to more music making for a healthier life!