Music which moves the heart

I mentioned some while ago that we have been seconded a lady from Cumbria University to help us put together a YouTube collection of videos of Blenheim Lodge and the Lake District. Being rather naive about web applications and technical knowhow, I was rather flummoxed when she asked me what music I would like to use on the videos. It had never crossed my mind to think about that aspect of the videos, so I had to think through in my mind about the style of music which would best musically illustrate the images being shown on the videos.

As I enjoy listening to classical music, I have decided that that is the way we will go. I gave Pui some suggestions of passages of music I would like to include in the videos and am looking forward to viewing them when they are ready. Pui had taken much footage of Lakeland countryside whilst travelling about with me, Hubby, and a tour guide. A couple of visitor attractions, namely Dove Cottage and Blackwell House, have also contributed press photographs that she will incorporate into YouTube montages.

Whenever I think about music, I consider how it must move one’s heart in order to have an impact on the listener. Whether it is a song of joy or sorrow, a lilting track that expresses movement in dance or thought, a musical passage which wells up in grandeur or whispers of secret things, and so on, I am of the opinion that such music must craft the moment if it is to catch the listener’s attention. And when said music accompanies images or moving pictures, then it must enhance the experience of viewing these images by transposing into sound what the physical attributes of the images represent.

Pui and I walked up to Aira Force one day where she captured images of flowing Aira Beck as well as the waterfall itself. We also saw gnarled trees in stands of woodland and fells with a rare breed of sheep cropping contentedly on the fells. In the background was Ullswater and its surrounding mountains. I have asked Pui to use different musical passages to accompany all these various aspects of our walk to Aira Force.

Waterfall in the Lake District

Stunning Aira Force waterfall by Ullswater in the English Lake District. (Photo courtesy of www.cumbriaphoto.co.uk.)

Sometimes, music moves me in a different way. I remember watching The Voice earlier in the year (www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00k96j40) and getting goose bumps at times when the singers sang particularly well. As a child and student, I attended a number of orchestral concerts. I particularly appreciated them as I grew older and some of the music played would send shivers down my back, their intensity welling up to encapsulate a kind of emotional charge I did not experience in the more popular raucous music that many of my peers listened to.

At other times, especially when singing a gospel song, hymn or chorus, the lyrics themselves move me to tears because of their associations in my mind either to an event or to what Christ has done and continues to do for me. My mother, who has Alzheimer’s Disease, loves the song ‘Beautiful Dreamer’, amongst many others of this vintage. It is a song that she can still sing almost word perfect despite not being able to take care of herself or to recognise me anymore. When I sing songs like these, I find myself wallowing in sentimental sorrow for Mum’s loss of sentient capability, and thus these songs move my heart in an entirely different way.

A peaceful golden sunrise over Lake Windermere. What does this image invoke in the heart? Which pieces of music would capture the essence of these emotions? The possibilities are endless and your choices will probably be different from mine, as it is what touches one’s heart most that counts! (Photo courtesy of www.cumbriaphoto.co.uk.)

Music is such a powerful tool: it excites and energises the emotions; it is able to find and infiltrate the little hairline cracks within one’s life which one endeavours to encase with brittle shells and to fill in those gaps with soothing peace or niggling discomfort as the case may be. Music can also be used as an excellent means to portray our emotions where words fail us. It can be used to enhance experiences and even to depict them without the need for inadequate language. I hope that when Pui juxtaposes the music we have discussed with the scenery of the Lake District, there will be a perfect marriage of sound, sight and emotion that will do justice to the beauty of the astounding landscapes of the Lake District National Park.

Blenheim Lodge . . . panoramic Lake views, peace and tranquillity, nestled against acres of beautiful fields and woodlands, in the heart of the English Lake District National Park.’

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