Besame, Besame Muuuucho
Music is an essential expression of life- an essential expression in MY life. Music gives fuller form to my day to day experiences: I listen to specific music according to my mood, my activity, or even according to who is listening with me. Sometimes I listen to it loud, full blast; Sometimes low, only as background. I’m very sensitive to sound actually. If it is a type of music, or an artist that hits my ears the wrong way, I need NO music. Sound off. But mostly, I need to have a soundtrack to my life playing constantly.
I am not a musician, I am only a listening audience. Music that is exclusively instrumental, a haunting string quartet, a fluid Peruvian flute; or music with lyrics, a solitary Edith Piaff song or a strong Etta James song…. They each affect me equally yet uniquely. For those of you who know me, you know that I like to communicate ideas that often are perfectly expressed through the lyrics in a song. Ultimately lyrics equal poetry. Similarly, music equals poetry of sound. Frankly, I envy those who can create or be involved in music, but I can join the journey.
Recently I went to the CCA with a group of friends to see Seymour: an Introduction, a film by Ethan Hawke. The movie is about the life of this American concert pianist and composer. (By the way, I love going to the movies, you can invite me anytime). The movie had several cuts of him playing alone, and other cuts of other well known concert pianists playing, all wrapped up in their creation, their wealth of expression. While enjoying the movie, I found myself fascinated as much by the music as by their facial expressions as they played. They seemed to play from a place of ecstasy. These scenes felt very intimate. In the film, he talked about how music is a universal language. Yes, it is.
The music I was exposed to as a kid was really my parent’s music. They loved listening to boleros, there are various forms of the bolero, mostly for dancing, but they like the slow, romantic boleros. “Besame, besame muchoooooo…. Como si fuera esta noche la ultima veeeeez…. (“Kiss me. Kiss me as though this would be the last time.” When I was a girl I thought, how ridiculous is that?! I was much more interested in listening to the Beatles sing “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” though I had no clue what they were singing about since I didn’t even speak English then, nor did I dabble in drugs at the age of 14! I was clueless but boy was I taken by their music! Of course, now I totally love boleros! Between the music and the lyrics, they express the idea of love and women in the most adoring way. Have you had that experience where you listen to music in another language but between the tone of the voice and the melody of the music, you just KNOW exactly what they are trying to express? That’s how I feel about Brazilian music specifically. I realized that I have quite the collection of Brazilian music at home.
The different relationships I had in my life, whether friends, lovers, or my kids, also exposed me to different music. Piazolla, Japanese drumming, Patsy Cline, Reggae…. It all forms my day, my mood.
Tell me what music moves you, or what lyrics move you? What songs would be on the soundtrack of your life?
I love hearing from you!