Monday, October 11, 2021

It's More than the Theme Song

When I think of music in the movies, two things come to mind. The first is theme song, especially if it became a commercial hit, examples being some of the award winning tunes from the Bond franchise - "For Your Eyes' Only", "Goldfinger", "All Time High" and "Live and Let Die". Most people are familiar with "Rain Drops keep Falling on my Head" from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Two of my all time favorites are "Memories" from The Way we Were and "Moon River" from Breakfast at Tiffanys. There was a wonderful song called "Moondust" from (of all movies!!) Meatballs. If you not familiar with it, and a doubt you are probably not, Google it.

The second musical memory of a movie is the overture. Whether it is the opening credits of My Fair Lady or the sweeping production at the beginning of Gone With the Wind, these compositions set the mood for the movie. Rogers and Hammerstein are probably best known for their overtures.

However, I recently realized the most important music in a film is not the theme song stuck in your mind for days or the grand orchestral production of the first minutes. It is the score. The music that sets the scenes that we rarely pay attention to, yet it is a major part of the movie going experience.

Last week I was walking and decided to "listen" to a movie. By the time I got back to my place, I was enthralled. The movie, not a block buster, but a decent film, was a totally different experience with just the dialogue and the score. Since I had seen the film several times, I was very familiar with the characters and setting. But the score, which no doubt influenced my experience the earlier times I had seen the film, was initially lost in my consciousness. However, it was this very music that carried the movie. All the action, the feelings, and suspense could be followed by just listening to the score. Now I truly appreciate the Academy Award Winners in the category of "Best Score".  

And just in case, one doesn't know the difference between a movie's theme song and its score:  "[The score] is probably so called from the vertical scoring lines that connect successive related staves. A score may contain the single part for a solo work or the many parts that make up an orchestral or ensemble composition".

When I was quite young, I remember my father explaining the concept of a movie score to me. He had me listen to the score only (no dialogue) of Peter and the Wolf. I could tell just by the music that something bad was going to happen or things were going well or there was some expectation. The music carried the emotions of the story. It was a great lesson that I put away in my mind, along with his tutorials on how to select a great book by its binding and what to look for when buying an Angus cow. 

But, like many of those valuable things Daddy taught me, I was a bit slow to really appreciate the lesson. Yes, it took me 50 something years to truly appreciate his lesson on scoring. Now I just wonder how many valuable things my father taught me that I have long forgotten or failed to appreciate at the time. 

Perhaps the lessons were much like the score of film. As I go through life they provide the background, the richness, and enjoyment of my daily experience - I am just not conscious of it. "Let's say it was the moon dust, that hides behind the moonlight, that fell and set us free with its moon dust melody."

Friday, October 8, 2021

Save it for a Rainy Day

In this week of inclement weather,  save it to the poets (and musicians) to romanticize the rain. 

Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket
Never let it fade away
       Perry Como

Save it for a rainy day 
       Stephen Bishop

Here comes that rainy day feeling again 

Here's that rainy day they told me about and I laughed 
      Barbara Streisand

Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket, Save it for a rainy day 

Oo, I hear laughter in the rain, walking hand in hand with the one I love. 
      Neil Sedaka

I wanna know, have you ever seen the rain? 
       Creadance Clearwater Revival

Rainy day bells play by the raindrops 
       Neil Sadaka

Kentucky rain keeps pouring down and up ahead's another town that I'll go walking through . . .
In the cold Kentucky rain 
       Elvis Presley

Smoky Mountain rain keeps on falling, I keep on calling her name 
       Ronnnie Milsap

You can thank me later for the continuous loop one these songs will stay in you head today.

Monday, October 4, 2021

A Ouija Board, a Magic Wand, and a Genie in a Bottle

 Everyone has most likely played that game of naming a list of people, well there are several of these lists. One is - If you were stranded on a dessert island, what 3 things would you want with you? Number two is - If you could have one wish what would it be? Number three is - who would be your dream guest list for a dinner party?

Obviously, these are all personal. Everyone has different answers, well except that a majority of us would ask for unlimited money somewhere in here. As for me, I have thought about these queries long and hard over many years.

For the first, I would want a Ouija Board, a Magic Wand, and a Geni in a bottle. The magic wand just a back up in case the Geni is uncooperative. 

My one wish would not be world peace, contrary to that desire of many Miss America Finalists. I would request the ability (and resources) to travel anywhere I wanted at anytime.

As for the dinner party, this is my favorite. There are 2 categories alive and dead. The list of those still in the here and now would include: Annie Leibovitz, Kevin Costner, Dr. Nan Morrison (one of my college English Lit professors), a certain young man I didn't date in high school but should have (whose name I will not reveal),  John Martin Taylor (a well known Charleston chef who penned "Straighten up and Fry Right" aka The Fearless Frying Cookbook), Ted Turner, and Aaron Sorkin.

The list of those who have passed would include my father (a true Renaissance man of his time), my Auntie (a favorite Great Aunt of mine who cussed like a sailor, smoked Salems, and always had a great story), Bill Lynch (a family friend who epitomized a gentleman from an old Charleston family who introduced me to good Gin and Cointreau at the age of 15), Dr. Frampton (the minister of the Presbyterian Church I attended as a child), Cokie Roberts, and Judge Blane Michael (the funniest white man I ever knew).

When you have a quiet moment, I suggest you make your own lists. I cannot speak for everyone, but it put my life in perspective. And, although I doubt any of these wishes will come true, I can always dream.

Saturday, October 2, 2021

"They" Know a Virus is not Contagious

This truly goes under the category, "You can't make this stuff up."

I was in a store yesterday, one that requested its patrons wear masks while shopping.  Although I do not like wearing a mask, I respect any store that has such a policy. The gentleman in front of me in line turned around. "Don't you just hate having to wear that thing," he asked as he pointed to my mask. I noted he was not wearing one.

"It's not my favorite thing but I respect the store's right to request it," I said, trying not to sound nonplussed.

"Well, I happen to know for a fact that they do no good - not effective at all." He continued, "Let me show you." With that he pulled out his American Express card. "See that comma between 30 and 2023 (the expiration date)?" Before I could answer, he continued. "This card," he pointed to his Amex Card,"is a hole in your mask. That comma is the virus. So you can see a mask does no good."

"Well . . . ", I started to comment about N-95 masks, but he continued before I could finish my thought. "There is a book everyone must read, called The Invisible Rainbow. It is over 100 pages and 25 of those are footnotes citing the experts." As this point, all that went through my mind was The Rainbow Fish, The Reading Rainbow, and Unicorns.

"You should know, the Spanish Flu in 1918, which did not start in Spain, actually started in Kansas." Before I could offer that I knew that, he continued. "And it was not spread by contagion, like people to people. It was spread along the telephone wires that had recently been strung across the country. It spread by radio waves coming from the lines. Then the transcontinental telephone line spread the disease to Europe."

"Phone lines? Really?" I replied.

"Yes, there is proof that radio waves carry all types of viruses. You know in the Army, the first thing they tell you is to stay away from radar and x-rays? The Army knows all about this, they have just keep it secret."

"Huh, I haven't read anything about this."

"It's all in The Invisible Rainbow, you should read it." He continued,"And the experts know a virus is not contagious, it's nothing but dead cells."

I started,"And this is in  . . ." But before I could finish, he cut me off. "It's all in the book. You really need to read it. And, you know what caused Covid19?"

"Phone lines?"

"No, the 5G network. It's everywhere and it has spread the virus across the globe." I was hoping that he would quickly reach the register, so he could pay for the few things he was holding and spare me any more of his scientific theory. But, luck was not on my side. The lady in front of him decided she needed to pay with a personal check and it was taking her a while to locate her checkbook in her rather large purse.

"There is a great video called 'Covid19 in 19 Minutes'." He continued. "But you want find this on Google. It can only be found on a secret browser that only real serious scientist follow."

Finally, it was his time to check out. "There is a God," I silently told myself. As he left, he turned, pointed to me and smiled, "Get the book, you really need to read it."

The only thing I could say was,"It all sounds very interesting."

With that he turned and left. I was tempted to follow him out the door and see if he was going to don a tin foil hat. But then, I had given him enough of my life. I'll take my chances with telephone lines and the 5G network. No doubt, somewhere over the rainbow . . .

Friday, October 1, 2021

Be Happy

 "I must learn to be content with being happier than I deserve.” Jane Austin in Pride and Prejudice.

I live to learn this lesson. How much simpler can it be said. We often are so busy trying to achieve what we think is going to bring us happiness, we don't recognize it when it is in front of our face. 

Fear not, I will opine no more. I shall bask in my content and enjoy my happiness, all the while appreciating I have both.