Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A month of gifts, day 8: The Gift of Music

Last week, while the Plague was practicing his cello, he called me into the office. “Look! Music really does have charms to soothe the savage beast,” he told me. I didn’t bother to correct the quote, because the beasts were both resting peacefully as he played to them. The Small Angry Cat was curled up on a pile of clean towels, and the Large Doofy Cat was sprawled atop the computer tower, both of them sound asleep. And if you’d ever heard those two creatures fight, you’d appreciate the quiet, too.

Not every practice session at my house is a beacon of peace and hope. Sometimes the cello gets played passive-aggressively. Did you know that the cello can be played passive-aggressively? I’m telling you, the things you learn when you’re a mom. But most days aren't like that, fortunately, and this week is the school orchestra concert, where I'll get to hear the Plague play all the songs he's been working on since school started. and to see the triumph in his face--that's magical. I'm glad he has that opportunity, because even if he doesn't make cello a lifelong passion, his life will be richer.

I tell people my musical talent is being a good audience. I tried clarinet and piano, but unlike writing, I never had the focus to practice. I’ll listen all the live-long day, though. Classical, bluegrass, movie soundtracks, big band, alt-rock, indy folk, trashy pop . . . Every time I tell someone I’ve found a kind of music I don’t like, it turns out there’s a band or a singer or a song that is actually pretty awesome.

Here are some more songs I love.

Yo-Yo Ma playing the prelude to Bach's first cello suite:

The SteelDrivers, playing "Ghosts of Mississippi":

the Dragonborn theme from Jeremy Soule's Skyrim soundtrack:

and "Dante's Prayer" by Loreena McKennitt:

Tune in tomorrow, when I'll be hosting a guest blog by Joselyn. She's bringing some excellent holiday beverage recipes for you!

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