Strings

This morning I was reading a fine piece of writing evoking a night of youthful misadventure back in the days of doing too many drugs. There is mention of Jesus walking by the author’s side, which reminded me of one of my most favourite hip hop tracks of all time, when Jesus makes an appearance at about the 2min30 mark –

But part of what I love about this track is the use of strings – oh how I love instruments used in surprising ways, the lift that can come from an unexpected kind of sound.
And I remember too, so many nights when I was a teenager, listening to music, as if the drugs allowing all other parts of my brain to shut down so that music could be the only experience, truly hearing the different sounds…growing up on all the classic rock bands, the trippy ones, the head-banger ones, but also on folksy anglo-Canadian locals, players of banjos, harmonicas and the beloved guitar –

And how much the development of listening like this stays with you, becomes part of who you are. Just this morning, I was hunting around for music ideas for the film I’m working on right now, and came across this delightful blend of strings – (you gotta skip ahead, past all the settling in stuff) –

And what about you? What sounds or instruments stir you more than others?

21 thoughts on “Strings

    1. YES, the cello!!! They say it’s the sound closest to the human voice, theory being that’s why it is so very evocative…
      Oh, I meant to find an absolutely stunning piece by Yo-Yo Ma to finish up the post – will have to see if I can find it / remember it and add it in.

    1. Oh, I am totally with you there, Geeky Book Snob, and glad books have not kept you from the pleasure of drums.
      But are we talking drums like this –

      Or drums like this –

      Or both?

        1. Books do indeed have rhythm! Without a rhythm in the writing, we would disengage. I find I can’t stick with some very fascinating writers, cause there isn’t an overall rhythm, even if there are amazing flourishes (David Foster Wallace and Roberto Bolaño come to mind…)

          1. Okay, I had to google the WSEW, and then it gave me a hearty laugh….
            “Liked” the post but have to give it a proper read now – looks great GBS, so glad to have made your acquaintance!

          2. oh and our comment thread made me think of this quote that a fellow blogger had left for me awhile back: “”The drummer deals almost exclusively with rhythm, therefore he is an architect of energy. Art is not eternal. Only energy is eternal. The drum is to infinity what the butterfly is to zero.” Tom Robbins

          3. I used to be married to a Cuban. He told me only especially religious people were allowed to touch the drums in ceremony. Not sure where that fits into the art/energy continuum, but seemed relevant…

  1. I love Neil Young 🙂
    I feel specially moved by the violin sound. Once upon a time.. I had a boyfriend who played violin. I left him but miss the way he mistook the strings XD. So cute!
    Ive always wanted to play piano. I start learning now and then but I don’t have much free time. Stupid thing not to invest more time in it. When I get old I’ll regret about it. I’m sure.
    xoxo

    1. Yes, the violin! The violin in rock music just knocks my socks off – there’s so many songs I love with that juxtaposition, unfortunately I have a terrible memory so I’m really kinda useless with the music librarian role…
      But meanwhile, a fave Neil Young song with some piano to inspire you to find the time so you don’t regret it when you’re old –

  2. Listening to your first hip-hop sharing. I always admire people who love music. Who listen deeply to sounds, to strings, to tracks. “As if the heart were not enough”…this line just resonated!

  3. Oh my gosh, I really loved all of these videos. And you know when there’s a song you’ve loved long ago but have forgotten about? Found it when I clicked on the first Neil Young video you posted. I’ve always wondered what the music-hunting process for a film is like…

    1. It’s mostly intuitive – you kind of get a feeling about what kind of mood, what kind of sound you want for a scene, for a soundtrack…and then sometimes you have to keep looking. It is such a hugely influential element, a piece of music can alter a scene so radically, it can keep changing for a while til you really find the appropriate sound.

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