I’m especially loving Pam today. I don’t have to have a reason, because just knowing her…just being with her evokes something deeply joyful…something thankful in me. The lyricist, Hal David wrote “on the day that she was born the angels got together and decided to create a dream come true”, but I don’t think any angel made this dream come true… that decision was made by a much greater authority. He surely did sprinkle moon dust in her hair and a starlight in her eyes. She’s so beautiful to me.
I’m listening to “Close To You”with Ron Isley singing David’s lyric on a beautiful bed of Burt Bachrach’s music. I’ve been in music as long as I can remember. It’s the lining in my soul and I get amazed all over again by its ability to move my heart in ways indescribable. With only twelve notes in a scale, used by truly gifted songwriters, composers, arrangers, orchestrators, musicians and artists, their passion reaches down into my heart and take me to places I could never visit in the physical. These are special places, deep… soulful places. Regardless of genre, music of every leaning has a way of speaking to me.
I want to honor all musical styles from all over the world. Valuing the music of a others is a healthy way of learning respect for people groups, countries and cultures. It’s great to have an appreciation of a particular style of music that is meaningful to you, however some find it necessary to profess distain for music not their own, of cultures they don’t really understand, ever supposing their fellows too unlettered to appreciate “real” music. Leonard Bernstein alarmed the classical purists with his obvious appreciation of various genres, but he understood the cultural relevance of other forms. Music is not a little harbor…but an expansive ocean of styles and conveyance. When people tend a narrow musical path, in a very real sense they are refusing to acknowledge the differences in the way humanity views and absorbs the theatre of life. There are many windows of divergent expression reflected in the creative’s pen and voice.
Music is found in the aggregate of an artist’s life, what they see, where they’re from, what they experience, their families and the way they were raised, their ethnicity and culture, places they’ve lived, the influence of art, music, writing and political outlook. The confluence of all of this forms a lyrical and musical philosophy. What emanates from these artists is reconstituted in their psyche, and emerges as a unique utterance. After the technical discipline is established, the power of any creative artist is in the sum total of their life influences.
Music is a historical marker that transcends generations. It resurrects pain and soothes it all in the same breath. A combination of conscious and unconscious thought, it says what we are unable to say. It cries when we don’t have any tears left and smiles when we can’t. it puts its loving arm around us and tells us… “it’s going to be okay.” Invading our emptiness, it invites us to preternatural mornings and brilliant sunlit flowers, where once tears of despair become scintillant dew on fields of hope. We are left dumbstruck with the beauty.
The abilities of great artists and musicians have certainly been finely honed to be sure, but for me…and again I speak just for me…even though the artist is intentional to be excellent and has diligently worked themself to the bone…the marrow of talent is of spiritual content… and that for me is a gift from God.
“Why do birds suddenly appear every time you are near?
Just like me, they long to be… close to you”