Thursday, March 30, 2017

I Know this Place

I tend to place almost all of my life experiences in terms of music, because musical expression in nearly any form has been part of my life for practically my whole life. In childhood, I listened to Broadway soundtracks albums my father and mother preferred, in an era when 'the hi-fi' was a piece of furniture and you worried more about the wooden cabinet the guts came in than the equipment itself.

My father always bought his stereos from Liberty Music on Madison Avenue in Manhattan and they were nearly the size of the island. As teenage audiophile, I realized form and function didn't correlate when I discovered the speakers were one, each per side, three inch mid range cones and the Garrard turntable was gear-driven.

That awakening happened almost simultaneously with the accidental exposure to The Beatles, The Kinks and all the others who crossed the bridge from Britain. I had no older brothers or sisters, so Elvis, Jerry Lee, Carl Perkins and that whole generation left no mark and what little I heard of folk music left me unmoved. I had no bad habits to unlearn, I guess.

Years ago on Ally McBeal, Tracey Ullman was a therapist who wanted the series' heroine to have a theme song and I smile thinking about those episodes because I see the world as clips--before there was MTV or Miami Vice, which, let's face it was a long form music video pretending to be a TV show, I heard music when I saw events.

I mention this because if there's one thing, even as we've spent ourselves broke in The Land of Steady Habits, that we're proud of, it's our girls (even though they're not ours and none of them are girls), the UCONN Women's basketball team who, as they pursue their next national championship, have won more consecutive ballgames (111) than anyone else in any sport at any time since records have been kept.

As a father of a daughter, I cheered for the program as Michelle grew up because it seemed to prove everything I, and fathers of daughters across the state and the country, wanted our daughters (and sons, or that matter) to learn as life's lessons--always do your best, never give up and work on your left-handed baby hook (okay, maybe the last of those is a bit more specific to basketball than life). Michelle has, by the way, done wonderfully well growing into a woman in whom both her mother and I take great pride.

Watching Geno Auriemma's team in action, I saw the lyrics before I felt the bone-crunching melody. "Talk and song from tongues of lilting grace/Whose sounds caress my ear. But not a word I heard could I relate/The story was quite clear.They talk of days for which they sit and wait/When all will be revealed." The words, we know; the tune, we'll hum.
-bill kenny

No comments: