Musical Time

I really like music. To me, nothing beats a really good talk by a church leader followed by a really beautiful arrangement of a hymn. It's like abstract gold.

I went to a Missy Higgins concert a couple months ago. And it was incredible. I don't think anything beats live music. And not just any live music, but music that empowers and make you really feel stuff. The kind that makes you think about your life and other people's life and wonder how you can improve it or learn what you need to learn.

I have been listening to all of Missy's songs at work for the last several months and I didn't realize how many of the words I knew until I could whisper them to myself as she sang. I love music. I love that it can change how I am feeling or make me feel better. It's like reading someone's journal but with more emotion. I like feeling that I know Missy, even though she doesn't know me. It's just so bizarre and a little bit miraculous that someone who grew up in a different country with different interests and beliefs can so articulately capture similar thoughts and feelings that I have had, but can say it much more beautifully than I ever could.

Her new album called "The 'Ol Razzle Dazzle" has particularly affected me. I usually can only handle listening to new music on constant repeat for about a week, but it's now December and I have listened to this album every day since March. If I had to pick a soundtrack for 2012, it would be this one. The songs are always in my head.

One of the songs is called "Everyone's Waiting." I really liked it before the concert. But my friend, Christine and I had a pretty in-depth conversation about this song and the music video right before the concert. We analyzed it and came up with our own conclusions of what it is about. And then when she sang it and told us what it meant for her, it was like we had solved a mystery. And we both loved the song so much that adding her story and meaning to it, made it even better. Here it is:

One thing I just love about Dallas is the music scene. So many artists come through here. Just in the last year, I have seen Ingrid Michaelson, Missy Higgins, A Fine Frenzy, Joshua Radin, and as of last weekend, Sufjan Stevens Christmas concert sing-along. It was pretty fun to sing Christmas songs with people I don't know and who don't believe everything that I believe about Christmas. I love so many of Sufjan's Christmas songs, so it was nice to see them performed live. He also sang his version of "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing," which I recorded. Not for any particular reason, except to tell my mom that I go to concerts in which hymns are performed.  Figured she would be happy about that.  :)

I read a quote awhile back that said something about how a group of people playing music together is the perfect symbol of what humans can accomplish together. It represents the theory of gestalt: the total combination is greater than the sum of individual parts. You have to follow and listen and contribute and work together.
I couldn't find the exact quote, but I did find this one from Artur Rodzinski:
In our orchestra we have many nationalities, types, and temperaments. We have learned to forget individual likes, dislikes, and differences of temperament for the sake of music to which we have dedicated our lives. I often wonder if we could not solve the world's problems on a similar basis of harmony. Think what a single individual in a symphony orchestra can accomplish by giving up his individual traits and ambitions in the service of music. . . . Suppose that in life you had the same all-embracing love for the whole of mankind and for your neighbor in particular. Only when every one of us and every nation learns the secret of love for all mankind will the world become a great orchestra, following the beat of the Greatest Conductor of all.

It's not really the quote I had in mind, but it is still awesome. Music is a miracle.

While searching for that quote, I also came across this one from Dale Carnegie:
You can sing only what you are. You can paint only what you are. You must be what your experiences, your environment, and your heredity have made you. For better or for worse, you must play your own little instrument in the orchestra of life.
Lovely. So in conclusion. I love music. I love the way it influences my feelings. I love that I know how to sing, play the piano, and stumble over the violin. I like that other people share their feelings, their happiness, their sorrows and the melody in their head.

Photo by Bill Ellison: image of Missy Higgins at Granada in Dallas
Photo by Bill Ellison: image of Missy and band at Granada in Dallas
Photo by Bill Ellison:  image of Sufjan on stage
Photo by Bill Ellison:  image of Shana and I
Photo by Bill Ellison: image of Sufjan's band


Rebecca Made

When I was in college, I had to make a website for a class. I didn't know what HTML or CSS was, but my sister had warned me that it was rough. She really didn't enjoy the class and so I prepped myself for the worst.

I made the website and finished the class, barely getting it all together by the end. I haven't updated that site until today. It has all new content, a new design, and it is completely responsive- meaning the content responds to any device you are browsing in.

I am still in shock at how much fun it is to make a website. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it!

the brand spanking new