Tuesday, December 27, 2011

On Music

Our home is a place filled with music. Whether it be the Christian radio station we're blessed to have broadcasted into our home. Someone practicing the piano, drums, or violin. Or someone singing very badly off key, there is always music in this place.

For me as a child growing up there was always music too. My dad always had on the CBC radio or some great classical stuff. As we aged our tastes evolved and/or grew. I remember my opa also being a big lover of music. My dad got part of his collection of vinyls when he passed away in 1983.

The Engineer, on the other hand, grew up with milking cows to the oldies, such as Meatloaf -- and of course some country. It was whatever was on the local radio station at that time.

I grew up learning to play the organ. (Don't ask!!) I never did become very accomplished at it, and quit the summer before grade nine. I promptly picked up the flute and in university began to pick up the piano again.

Again the Engineer was deprived. He had no lessons.

When we got married, we both took piano lessons for about two years, but then life took over. However, that didn't stop us from listening to and appreciating many genres of music.

We now have seven children who also love music. For me there is something primal about the need for music. I have been known to get lost in a piece. The world can fall away -- even for just a short time.

The Engineer and my older children are often seen researching a genre or piece of music to better understand it and appreciate it.

On Christmas Eve, we watched Christmas Eve by the Trans Siberian Orchestra. It was just supposed to be the Engineer and I, but when Peach and Beans heard the music, they tore downstairs to join us.

Do you ever study your child's face when they are watching something and totally unaware you are there? I did that to Peach. Her expression was one of complete concentration and intrigue. We are very much hoping that next year we will be able to purchase tickets to see the TSO live, but for now that's a looooong way away.

One of the most fascinating songs on the DVD (and CD) is Christmas Eve Sarajevo. If you watch the video you'll know why.

** Cello player Vedran Smailović was born in Sarajevo on November 11, 1956. He left Sarajevo when he was fairly young to go on to become a well-respected musician, playing with various symphonies throughout Europe. Many decades later, he returned to Sarajevo as an elderly man—at the height of the Bosnian War, only to find his city in complete ruins.
It is said that what most broke this man's heart was that the destruction was not done by some outside invader or natural disaster—it was done by his own people. At that time, Serbs were shelling Sarajevo every night. Rather than head for the bomb shelters like his family and neighbors, this man went to the town square, climbed onto a pile of rubble that had once been the fountain, and took out his cello. He played Mozart and Beethoven as his city was bombed.

He came every night and began playing Christmas carols from that same spot. It was just such a powerful image—a white-haired man silhouetted against the cannon fire, playing timeless melodies to both sides of the conflict amid the rubble and devastation of the city he loves.

Some time later, a reporter traced him down to ask why he did this insanely stupid thing. The old man said that it was his way of proving that despite all evidence to the contrary, the spirit of humanity was still alive in that place.

If you look at the link about Vedran, you will discover that he is very much alive, and not a white haired old man, but it doesn't make the story any less fascinating.

**from Wikipedia.


  1. Deborah,

    Thank you for this. I've received another Christmas present.

  2. I also LOVE music! Too many songs on my iPod to count. Trans Siberian Orchestra is incredible! Maybe I'll join you next year for that. :) My favorite that I've heard most recently from them is "Carol of the Bells". We also sang that song in my high school choir a couple weeks ago.


  3. Deborah,
    One of the hardest things for us to "give up" was our music. I've requested my cello to meet me at the airport! Music is certainly a gift from God - there is nothing like it :-)

  4. Thank you for this Deborah!!
    I am still in Christmas mode a bit..
    blessing to you and yours in 2012.
    May it bring you much peace , joy, and hope .


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