Monday, March 15, 2010
It could have been when I used to take music classes and the teacher would play “The Planets” by Holst and I recognized part of it as the theme music of some TV show or other but I don’t think so. It might also have started when I would watch Bugs Bunny do “The Barber of Seville” or his version of Wagner’s “The Ring” in “What’s Opera Doc?” both shows being classics in their own right. But again, I don’t think so.
It was probably when my father would play his disco album versions of Bach or Beethoven back in the day when we had records. Or when he would play A Whiter Shade of Pale, not the original Procol Harum version, but one done with a reggae beat by but someone I have long ago forgotten. And then it took me years to realize that was just a rip off of Bach’s Air on G. Since then, I have learned to appreciate classical music in the way that it can be used to feed or purvey emotions, especially when it is combined with visuals like video and film. Like the scene in the movie “Se7en” where Morgan Freeman is walking in a library looking for clues and absolutely nothing happens. But as soon as Bach is played in the background, what was going to be just another piece of celluloid lying on the cutting room floor turns into something erudite and wonderful.
Last weekend I had intended to buy Philadelphia’s own Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings.” Ever since I saw or heard it being used in the Oliver Stone’s “Platoon”, I have always loved it and thought that I would use it somewhere at sometime for something. So since I hate going to record stores without knowing exactly what I want, I went on YouTube to see which orchestra or version would the best one for me. When I saw the BBC Orchestra from the Royal Albert Hall I wasn’t that impressed except for the fact that they were playing it in memoriam for September 11th, just a few days after the event and I remembered.
I remembered every minute of that Tuesday from when my sister called me at work from Florida to say that the World Trade Center had been struck. And then she called again to say that it had been struck again and then again to say that one of the buildings had collapsed and so I called her nuts because everybody knew those buildings were built to withstand airplane crashes. I remember how my Ex called and left me several messages each time I was away from my phone. He would tell me that his bus had been diverted away from the New York because no one knew what was going on and that he had arrived at the Lincoln Tunnel just minutes after the second plane had struck and that he needed help. I remember trying to get back to him to find where he was and what he wanted me to do, but the all the New York lines, cell phones and land lines were busy. I remember thinking that logically, everyone I knew would be safe, but I felt frustrated and to be honest a little scared, not for me but for everyone else.
Now it’s been almost ten years since those days and I wonder if I’ll remember as much ten years from now? I wonder if this is what it’s like when people say they remember when Kennedy was shot or the few who are left who remember when FDR died. So much has happened since then but probably not as much as has stayed the same, but I remember.