I have been listening to a lot of Ralph Vaughan Williams as of late. I can easily say that he is in my top 10 and possibly top 5 composers ever. I have a playlist entitled “Sleep” that I listen to when sleeping, and I have three of his works on there: “Fantasia On A Theme By Thomas Tallis“, “The Lark Ascending“, and “Fantasia on Greensleeves“. The most moving (for me) out of these three is the “Fantasia On A Theme By Thomas Tallis”. I don’t exactly remember the first time I heard it, but I do know that once I heard it, I never forgot it. If you asked me what the most beautiful song in the whole world is, I will readily say that it is this song. When the strings swell, I feel like I am on a different planet. The climax of the phrases make me feel like someone is drawing the breath out of my lungs (in a good way). I live for this moment. The moment where I am listening to the music and it feels like I’ve crawled inside this music bubble and I forget things like the fact that I am unemployed, have no idea what I’m doing with my life, and am scared for my future. I forget all of the scary things, anxieties, sadness. Everything seems to melt away. When that moment happens when I am listening to music, it is almost as if everything else stops and I have a moment of peace, serenity, or awakening.
There are a few other songs that I have had experienced this moment with. I feel like it is a special thing, being able to enjoy the mind-traveling experience quality music has to offer.
“Tetrishead” and “Frozen Angels” by Zoe Keating. When I first heard “Tetrishead”, I felt like the cello music was inside of me. Like I was being played. I don’t know how to describe it. All I know is that I wanted to play the cello after listening to it, and 3 years later here I am, still playing the cello and ready to compose for the cello quartet I am a part of. Frozen Angels gave me chills that cut straight to the bone right on the first listen. Zoe Keating is really amazing and I highly recommend her music. Her work has brought me lots of peace in times where I couldn’t find any. If you ever get the chance to see Zoe live, I highly recommend it. Watching her do her thing live is such a treat and you will be transported to somewhere else.
“Norwegian Ridgeback/ A Change of Seasons” from the soundtrack to Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone by John Williams. Around 1:54 is where the moment happens for me. This whole movie soundtrack is gold. John Williams is my favorite composer and I am a huge fan of all of his work. I recently heard Yo-Yo Ma perform a cello concerto written by Williams on the radio and it was fantastic. The man never disappoints. Truly a legend in his field.
“Apollo’s Frock/ Doughnut Song” by Tori Amos. There is so much that I can say about Tori’s music, especially since I keep finding something new in her music every day. That is a whole post in itself, though. Bottom line: I am more than eternally grateful (is that possible?) that Tori’s music made its way into my life. I don’t like to think about what things would be like if I didn’t have it. (Probably not as exciting and thinkey).
I really hope that I get the chance to hear a local orchestra or chamber music group play some Vaughan Williams live. I need to hear it live like I need food. The day that happens I will probably have to bring a mop and bucket along with me, because I will melt into a puddle of goo on the floor. I really hope that you all enjoy the music that I have shared here, and if not, I hope you find music that you can have your own moment with.