Diving Right In

January 22, 2009 at 2:17 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

It was a gradual evolution of choices, but in the end, it looks like I’m diving right in to the world of outsider music.

A few months back a friend (Glenn) and I were walking through the bookstore and he pointed out a book by Oliver Sacks, Musicophilia. I read Sack’s The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat when I was in grade school and loved it, and have since perused his book An Anthropologist On Mars. I also loved loved Awakenings, which was based off his work.


So hearing the recommendation for Musicophilia, I tucked the thought in the back of my head and continued on, planning on looking into it when I had some more time.

Some time goes by and I do find the space in my day to read it, so early January I pick it up from my favorite bookstore EVER, Elliot Bay Bookstore (yeah, no plug here…) and I start reading it.

Reading it makes me scared I’ll go into a seizure, though, and it’s turning me into a hypochondriac. I love the book, but I’m scared to read it while also listening to music. I mean… It’s just a little scary. In a dorky way. For me. The book is incredible, though, and I really love how accessible Oliver Sacks makes his field in his writing. I never feel like what he’s saying is going over my head.

Parallel to this, I’ve been going to the theater with my mom a lot, and I keep seeing this preview for this one movie, The Soloist. It looks amazing, but I know I won’t be able to make it ten minutes in the actual movie with a dry eye. It just won’t happen.

hp_scands_91211432932I decided, on a whim, to get the book first and read it. I figured it would better prepare me for the movie. Reading it hasn’t made me cry quite yet, but it’s so fantastically beautiful and sad, I know it’s only a matter of time. I love it, though, and I think it’s really well written.

As a side note, those who know me pretty well know that I avoid movie-sponsored books like the devil. I’ll go out of my way, pay a few dollars extra, whatever it takes to avoid the “Now A Major Motion Picture” sticker. But I bought this copy willingly, even though it’s cover is basically a movie cover. It’s beautiful. This book cover makes me want to become a book cover designer, just so I can make things look this pretty. 😛 Yeah, I’m a dork. So what.

So the last tie-in was watching the Inauguration stuff yesterday. As unusual as it is for me, I wasn’t really into it. I just didn’t care a whole lot about Obama’s speech (gasp, shock, I know, I know) or any of the political tidbits. I didn’t even like the poem much, but not because it isn’t high caliber or anything. It just didn’t resonate with me.

What did resonate with me, though, was Yo-Yo Ma’s performance of John William’s composition. It was composed especially for the Inauguration, and it just moved me. I thought it was beautiful. It also (and here’s the tie in) reminded me of the cello music in the trailer for The Soloist.

…So I hopped onto iTunes and the internet and eventually found this.

And, of course, I ended up buying on iTunes the entirety of Yo-Yo Ma playing Bach’s The Cello Suite. It’s beautiful, and the music accompanying me reading Musicophilia as well as a book about a man driven to the depths of his mind, all the while retaining his passion and ability to make music.

See? Diving right in, and tying it all together.


PS-I still haven’t found a video/clip/mp3 of Yo-Yo Ma’s performance at the Inauguration, so if anyone finds a copy, can they leave a comment? I’d be much obliged.


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