Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Musical thought

Being that I'm desparately trying to finish my current book, I have been spending a lot of time lost in deep thought, (well thought at least, I don't know about it being deep particularly), and listening to image provoking music. This usually entails what Keith would consider naff Italian pop music. Anyway we've been clearing out the basement to make room for all the monsterous audio equipment for Keith's "studio" along with the Thomas the Tank engine train table that lives down there, and I happened to come across an old tape, (as Jay so succinctly put it, "What's that mummy?"). The tape is nothing spectacular, Donna Lewis' In a Minute. It's a good album. But it wasn't the album itself that got me thinking, (and there's the bridge); it was the images and nostalgia that the album evoked. I bought the tape from the American Navy PX in Napoli during my stay in Rome in my last year of university in 19 mumble-mumble. Realising that we no longer owned any tape players I promptly downloaded the album from iTunes in a concerted effort to recapture some of the vivid images and overwelming feelings that I was experiencing remembering listening to the tape… …driving back from Napoli to Rome in my dad's SUV, the warm sun shining through the windows creating that late afternoon slumberous contentment that is usually felt on summer afternoons, the dulcet beat of the drum track and Donna Lewis's distinctive voice urged the car on down the autostrada as I watched the Roman countryside quiver past. The gentle rolling hills of Southern Italy, the yellow of the fields and green of the cypress trees so distinctive of the country. The somewhat thrown-together farmhouses that dotted the hills, their vineyards and olive groves trailing down the hillsides. The whitewashed blue spring sky that held a promise of long, hot summers. It was so sublimely Italian that even now I can actually taste the image; it makes me think of bottles of ice-cold, sweet, cloudy yellow limoncello. As I listened to the tracks I was overwhelmed by a feeling of utter bliss and contentment, urged on by the music, welcomed by my inspiration-thirsty mind.
I've always understood the power of music as a healing instrument, a vehicle for memories and nostalgia but it's been a long time since I felt it. Perhaps because that particular trip to Rome, (still considered my favourite, most treasured excursion), was one where I felt fully engaged, surrounded by my passion of the Classical World and steeped in a culture that permanently resides in my dreams that the music I heard whilst there will always trigger the feeling of perfect peace.
I hope you have a song or a piece of music that brings such a feeling of pure completion.
Rock on.

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