Making Music Your Own

Part One: Past And Present

Making music your own has power. It means by experiencing your own life fully, in joyous amazement, with wondering awe of the world around you, your own experiences effect the way that you perceive, perform, learn, teach, and compose music. Whether those experiences are beautiful, ecstatic, painful, inspiring, or sorrowful they are you, and music provides a medium for sharing those experiences, for connecting with others. Music has the power to express the in betweens, everything inexpressible in words. Performers, composers, and teachers each share this in their own way, creating the possibility for others to find that mysterious unknown truth which they know and feel,  but can’t quite touch. Recently, several performances reminded me of this.

Sting, performs a concert “Live from Durham Cathedral”, speaking about his home, moments of listening to the music of others, sacred and secular songs of the past, and combined with his own music he expresses the powerful theme of Winter, of the true North that guides us through our lives. The compass to navigate past, present, and future. How amazing to draw all of these elements together with musicians from all over the world in one concert! Sting’s profound and extensive knowledge of literature and history, his amazing career as a song writer and performer, along with his ability to relate to this universal truth with such a diverse group of musicians from all over the world makes this performance incredibly unique and powerful. It is extremely personal to him, to each performer, and yet universal to us all.

The Jenoska Ensemble creates a fusion of Bach and the Beatles, the “Prelude” from the first Cello Suite, played pizzicato on the violin, with “Yesterday”, in a video with memories of childhood and the present on their latest album. It erases time and place, and unites them in a constant feeling that one has as an artist from childhood and follows that feeling as it develops throughout life. It is the essence of the human experience. From their perspective, the Beatles and the music of the 60’s and 70’s, and Bach and music of the Baroque, all infused with tid bits of jazz, comprise equally important parts of their personal musical history. The history of music and the history of each artist combined into one beautiful new creation results!

Max Richter, “Reimagining Vivaldi,” the title expresses the essence of art. Love those who came before, love playing their music over and over, and love all that you have learned from them. Then, make it your own. Vivaldi performed with Richter’s own composition, in a gorgeous collision of past with present, necessity with creativity, and most inspiring, that thing that is common, indescribable, and beautiful beyond belief… the thing that both expresses what it is to experience the world and let it wash away, all in a few moments suspended in time.

Karine Stone