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Music and Emotions

March 22, 2011

Today, I thought I’d blog about something different. I know…you read my blog for the sex…but there just isn’t any sex to speak of while I’m this sick. So…you must now read my blog post about music 🙂

So…music. It’s something so many of us take for granted. I never really gave much thought to it. You know, music has just always been present in my life. I’ve always played musical instruments. I’ve always loved music. But it was only through incredibly passionate band directors that my passion for music was sparked. And once it was…there was simply no stopping it.

Last night I heard my first live brass ensemble. Brass Miami. Headed by Brian Neal. I’ve had the incredible privilege of meeting Mr. Neal. Not only is he the sort of man women fantasize about…he’s passionate about music. He gets this spark in his eye when he holds his trumpet. I watch him play…and it all seems effortless. Everything about him, his posture, his stance, his eyes, his lips…are perfectly relaxed. It’s something he stresses to his students, the idea that we store all this tension within us and we need to let it go in order to play well. Breathing is another thing he stresses. Smooth even breaths, leading right up until you begin your note, followed by an exhalation so smooth and even that your instrument can’t help but respond with the rich warm tone so characteristic of Brian Neal’s trumpet. I mean, has anyone heard this guy play? Everything is just so perfect and awe-inspiring.

Wow…ok, this is not what I had been planning to write. But that just goes to show you the passion he’s inspired in me. As I was saying, I went to see Brass Miami, formerly Miami Brass, last night at Church of the Epiphany. My absolute favorite song was Gabriel’s oboe. For those of you who don’t know…it’s this incredibly delicate and beautiful piece for the oboe. Now, picture this. Nine brass players and a percussionist…playing this incredibly light piece. I had my doubts. But Brian Neal and his singing trumpet absolutely blew my mind. I sat there in awe.

Something that just popped into my mind…a few classes ago, Mr. Neal stressed the importance of proper breathing and tonguing exercises. I sat in class thinking to myself, “I’d certainly love to practice my tonguing.” Needless to say, I have never look at him the same since.

I just keep getting off track. This is not what I had intended this post to be about. So, let’s get back to it. Have you ever felt the surge of emotion that comes from listening to a live performance? As the phrase builds and peaks, the percussionists going crazy, the trumpets blaring, the tubas resonating…and all of these things in perfect synchrony. Then the music gradually brings you down from that emotional high. It gives you this feeling of peace and calm. Tears form as you remember that one magical day that you wish you could relive. That’s what I experience when I listen to music. I feel this incredible surge of emotions. It’s something I can’t contain. At my concert the other day, Brian Balmages came to speak before the concert. He spoke a bit about composing and the process he goes through. He spoke about emotions. The emotions certain chords evoke.

Music is so much more than a mechanical progression through a series of pitches. In fact, the grand part of music is emotion. If a piece doesn’t stir something within you, then it isn’t a very good one. You’ll walk away feeling unsatisfied. So, I encourage you all to reconnect with a lost piece. Something you once played years ago. Take up that instrument you’ve always wanted to play but just never found the time. Listen to some classical music. Attend a performance. There really is no substitute for live music.

That is all. 🙂

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 23, 2011 2:24 pm

    I’ve attended a number of hand bell concerts with my wife (her mom ran the music department for a church, and had a hand bell choir), and one concert in particular stands out in my mind as I think about your blog. The director had long hair and a bit of a “wild man” look to him, and my mother-in-law didn’t approve. But he brought out music from those hand bells beyond anything I’d heard from hand bells before or since. I am not the sort to do things to attract attention to myself in public (believe it or not), but the music brought me to my feet despite the fact that the crowd was fairly….sedate. It was amazing, and when the music moved through me, I had no choice. My mother-in-law got upset, hell my wife got upset, but I didn’t care….the wave of emotion just overwhelmed me. It was incredible. I wept with the beauty of it. Thank you for bringing up that memory. 🙂

    • March 25, 2011 6:22 am

      Wow…hand bells. I had to look up a video to hear them. I mean, I knew what they were, I’d just never heard them. They sound great.
      Thank you for sharing your memory with me.

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