The Movement of Music

Watching the 25th anniversary production of Les Miserables the musical on Blu-ray with my best friend from high school suddenly reminded how deeply I am moved by music.  Even in all our joking—watching the cat chase his tail in front of the TV, critiquing the costuming, taking a break to grab a packet of Gushers—we were drawn to tears in minutes by certain songs.

the Valjeans sing "Bring Him Home" as a quartet

the Valjeans sing "Bring Him Home" as a quartet

In computer class in 9th grade, I typed out the lyrics to every song in Phantom of the Opera, over and over and over.  Was I sad and lonely?  Maybe a little, haha.  But I think the repetition speaks more to the calming power of music: even if you can only play it in your head.

My friend commented tonight that one of the most powerful songs was the one most peaceful.  Not “Do Your Hear the People Sing” but rather Valjean’s passing, those fleeting moments that he approaches death.  The notes hung in the air, not evaporating but transcending the atmosphere and pulling us up with it into somewhere more substantial than this realm.

Salieri kisses the face of Music in adoration

Salieri kisses the face of Music in adoration

I watched Amadeus today, too.  That classic 1984 outrageously erroneous but oh-so-captivating biopic on Mozart.  Salieri’s commentary reminded me of how deeply the soul values music—so much so, that in this man’s story, the love of music grew so large and angry a need in his spirit that he wielded it as an accusation against God Himself.  That’s how passionate the human heart is about melodies, about sounds, about the vibrations of the earth that resonate with our bodies.

Perhaps it is because for a fleeting moment, when the sound pulses through our flesh and reverberates through our soul into the deep recesses of our spirit, we are one person again.   One whole.  Most completely our Selves.

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