I’m sitting here listening to Arrival of the Birds by The Cinematic Orchestra.
From years of classical training in flute and playing in school bands and orchestras, my mind understands the technical aspects of the piece. Crescendo; diminuendo. Solo; tutti. Adagio; allegro. It deciphers which instruments are playing at any given time and anticipates what’s to come.
My heart, on the other hand, comprehends it differently. It doesn’t hear notes played from a sheet of music. It hears a conversation.
In isolation, a single note is meaningless; but in the grand scheme of things it’s everything. From da capo (the start) to fine (the end) music takes you on a journey though uncharted territories.
At the height of a piece the crescendo intensifies everything. It prepares you for something to come. Your heart swells in anticipation. Suddenly you’re walking, you’re running, you jump, you frantically flap your arms, you’re flying, YOU’RE FLYING, you’re soaring into uncharted territory. At any moment you could fall into oblivion but you trust the music will carry you to where you need to be. No matter what happens, nothing will ever erase the ecstasy you feel at this moment. It could all end with a big finish.
It could also end in silence.
And in that silence you take it all in. You breathe, a sigh of relief. No, you didn’t fall. But you realize you no longer need to frantically flap your arms to fly. You’re floating now. It’s peaceful here. It’s safe.
“To stop the flow of music would be like the stopping of time itself, incredible and inconceivable.” — Aaron Copland
Then out of the silence arises the melody you heard at the start. As it repeats over and over again you are reminded of the time when that melody was rife. And just like that, it becomes the soundtrack to your life.
I believe some of life’s greatest lessons are hidden in simple melodies.
“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” — Plato
I present to you, the piece that inspired this post, Arrival of the Birds by The Cinematic Orchestra.
*This article also appears on The Huffington Post