Tuesday, September 7, 2010

music for a found idea

Good music isn't just listened to, and a good listener doesn't simply hear it - the best music is made to be absorbed on some level; danced to, believed, or soul craved. Penguin Cafe Orchestra is a group that my roommate Pam introduced me to last year, via their song Perpetuum Mobile. Take a listen when you have a moment, to one of my favorite instrumental pieces, ever.

I've been soaking in the music of PCO all evening, gobbling up the links on youtube as though they were candy and I were a selfish child.  After I breezed through Perpetuum Mobile a few times, I started clicking on related video links (oh youtube). To my delight, I've actually found quite a few pieces of music by PCO that I really like (with the exception of their song "Milk", which is about as listenable as a cat tap dancing on a chalkboard). They wrote a lot of music during their active years (1972-1997), and so it took a good hour before I stumbled upon this one:

So, I am smiling to the music. Ear to ear, in fact. I first heard this song in a certain favorite movie of mine, and back then I actually replayed the scene a few times just to hear the song again - each time I watched the movie. Instead of looking at the credits (like a smart person), I forgot about the song. It wasn't until tonight, after a sequence of random clicks, that I stumbled across it in time to re-remember this song, and why I love it so much. 

Simon Jeffes (PCO's founder) wrote this particular piece, Music for a Found Harmonium, about a harmonium that he found abandoned on the streets of Japan in 1982. That's some fabulous imagery, adding to an already delicious song. I feel like you can tell, in the music, that the inspiration came from somewhere unexpected.

My recent vacation left me with a renewed sense of...desire. For life in general I guess, but even moreso, a desire for creativity and design. I am at my best when I am creating something, or finding something beautiful where another eye might not find it. I thrive in an environment that lets me enjoy the creative process: the hands on, fine-tuned whimsy that comes with making stuff up. And as I've taken time over the past few days to think and dream, I've actually come across a few suprises; ideas I wasn't even told were in there.

It seems I have a bunch of old, forgotten harmoniums in my soul somewhere, waiting to be dusted off and used toward creation.
We'll see.


Colleen Taylor said...

Love the song. Love the analogy: "a bunch of old forgotten harmoniums in my soul." Might just use that one day ... with props to you, for sure. :)

Mama said...

I LOVE this song and this orchestra. I would like it if they would sit around my living room and play their wonderful, whimsical music. Then I would serve them Chocolate Wacky Cake.

(I'll have to look up "Milk" haha.)

I hope to soon find my own "bunch of old forgotten harmoniums in my soul," too.

afterthoughtcomposer said...

I think we've all got them in ourselves somewhere...comforting thought, in a way. Thanks for the encouragement you two :)

Mama- you can make ME some cake! :) I will umm...play you this cd while you stir the batter? Sounds like a good plan.

Mama said...

I can't wait.