Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘songs’

I am always fascinated when the inclusion of a famous song or classical piece in a movie gets it absolutely right. By that I mean that it not only perfectly reflects the mood and meaning of that movie scene but enhances its emotional impact in almost preternatural manner.

Such is the case with Shostakovich’s “Waltz No. 2” in Eyes Wide Shut. I simply can’t get it out my head however much I try. It is such a beautiful piece; flowery, passionate, romantic yet with that indelible tinge of mystery and haunting spookiness. As a theme music for that movie, Stanley Kubrick couldn’t have chosen any better. Enjoy:

What other well known music inclusions for movie soundtracks can you think of that gets it perfect? Off the top of my head, here are a few that give me the chills: “Johnny Came Marching Home” from Dr. Strangelove,  “Hello” from Bitter Moon, “Bang Bang” from Kill Bill, “Girl, You’ll be a Woman” from Pulp Fiction.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Despite the title, this post is not going to be a complete list but more of a little story.

One day when I came back from a rather stressful day of school and in a really bad mood — I was thirteen at the time — my mom suggested I lie down on my bed, close my eyes and play Mozart’s Piano Concerto 15 on my little cassette player. I did as she said. And that was how it all began.

I discovered Mozart and I have been in love with his music ever since. His genius has helped me tide over so many difficult times.  He has made me laugh in childlike delight on so many occasions. I have occasionally tried to express my gratitude in posts like this and this but I don’t think they really do justice to his greatness.

And it would be wrong not to mention the other composers I have discovered since. Dvorak and his amazing ninth. Beethoven. Bach, Vivaldi, Strauss, Wagner. Tchaikovsky. Copland.

And oh, Bizet! I love Carmen. I could listen to the Habanera all my life. In fact I could watch every performance of Carmen that has ever taken place. I have come to appreciate opera more over the years. This aria from the Marriage of Figaro is magical. It is Mozart after all. But if I have to pick one piece that touches me most intensely — sends tingling sensations through my body and makes me feel part of some indescribable greatness — it would be this miracle. Has there ever been another song as moving? Operas are great. I am going to see one this week — Die Walkure — and the very thought makes me excited.

I cannot say I am anything close to an expert on classical music. I know nothing about the technical aspects of music. I can barely tell keys.  I can’t read. I can neither sing nor play any instrument. But I just love hearing the stuff. It makes me happy. It can make me happier than almost anything else can.

Read Full Post »

I can’t make up my mind! I first heard Evita in high school and fell in love. Years went by and my favourite changed to The Phantom of the Opera. It stayed so for a long time till a year ago when I heard Evita again and started preferring it again. Then I heard Jesus Christ Superstar (for the first time) only a months ago and was blown away. JCS was my favourite, till an hour ago, when I re-heard Evita in full. And now I once again think that Evita has the most consistently good music of any ALW musical!

Read Full Post »

Many years ago, my then girlfriend showed me a website dedicated to “positive music”.

Positive music, the website said, was music without harsh, discordant sounds. It wasn’t the kind of music that arouses negative emotions. It wasn’t music to disturb or change the world. It wasn’t rap, hip-hop, hard rock or grunge. It wasn’t heavy metal. It was music for warmth, for calm and serenity, for happiness and harmony.

As far as I remember, the classification was based on the musical quality of the sounds alone. The lyrics were incidental. They even had short audio files to illustrate what kind of sounds count as positive and what don’t.

It was an interesting site and I enjoyed it. I don’t know why I remembered it a short while ago.

I tried to find it with a google search.

What I found was this site, ostensibly of the “Positive Music Association”, and full of words like these:

The PMA is about seeing music not only as entertainment but as a means of creating positive change in the world. People drawn to Positive Music often are interested in subjects like personal development and empowerment, social transformation and peace, and in creating healthy and sustainable environments, relationships and communities. We encourage artistic integrity and social responsibility.

Positive Music is not: love songs, because they do not necessarily inspire action or change; religious since they are not inclusive of all human beings, just those who prescribe to that particular religion; simply happy songs unless they inspire appreciation or action; or anti-songs (e.g. anti-war, anti-drug) unless they focus on solutions.

Somewhere in these six years, the music went out of it. Or more likely, I just didn’t find the correct site.

Read Full Post »