Archive for July 15th, 2011

The Incredible Sound of Music Played Slow

Jul. 15th 2011

After a long 7 months, I treated myself to the incredible sound of music played slow.

I’m fortunate to have a 6-disc CD player in my automobile. I discovered a quiet parking lot in the Cape Cod National Seashore Park that faces Massachusetts Bay. Water, wind, and small curling waves introduce themselves to a pebbly shoreline. I retreat into solitude.

I turn off the car’s engine then turn the ignition key slightly to the right  stimulating  the flow of electricity.  A faint glow of light emanates from the dashboard similar to a nightlight. What’s this? A button that reclines  my car seat to a quasi-flat position? The car dealer never demonstrated this feature; a welcome discovery.

No one bothered me.  I closed my eyes drifting in and out of a thin veneer of slumber. I find subconscious sleep restful sleep. My body feels it defies and alludes gravity. Quite ethereal. I slipped  in and out of sleep, sporadically waking to the music, the dashboard light, then drifting back to sleep with the sound of music played by the follow artists:

                     * Neil Young.                       CD: Live at Massy Hall, 1971

                     * Pat Metheny.                     CD: What it All About.  June 2011 release. 

                     * The Moder Jazz Quartet.       CD:  A CD found in the depths of my CD library.                              

                     * The Counting Crows.           CD: Live in New York.  The acoustic disc from the double CD set.  

                     * Nina Simone.                        CD: Nina Simone’s Finest Hour

In the world of dance clubs and radio program  directors’s command (or demand) of the airwaves, timing and beats per minute are important compared to a song sung or played slow. The fast pace of most contemporary music mirrors the pace of society; fast.

Ever so often upon waking, I look up at the moon made of cream cheese (desperately searching for that illusive jumping cow), I focus upon the moonlight’s  reflective glow dancing on Massachusetts Bay at night. In this tranquil setting, I  play  my chosen CDs from beginning to end. The last track slid  into oblivion.

I truly felt at peace and entered a  deep state of relaxation.

Music played slow is an incredible sensory experience.

Neil Young’s  need for a maid to come–then go– faded in and out of  my consciousness. I felt pathos listening to Pat Metheny’s brilliantly played That’s The Way I’ve Always Heard it Should Be,  Cherish, andThe Sound of Silence. No lyrics. Baritone acoustic guitar only.  Loneliness and reaching for illusive love  is  personified in Nina Simone’s song Wild is the Wind; a 6 minutes song. When the Counting Crows sing about the visualization of heaven, I feel connected to the lyrics.  Hey, Adam. What up, Charlie. Come to Boston and we’ll hang out. The sound of the MJQ’s vibraphone penetrates my being. Notes played on a vibraphone linger in the air, like cigarette smoke rings–then dissipate.

Not all music must be played  fast. A well crafted, technically paced and executed slow song is a gift. I am the artist’s recipient. Now bows and fancy wrapping paper required.

The setting for this decompression was perfect.  Here I was, in the dark, yet with a faint glow of a dashboard light. This particular setting–a clear moon-lit night on Cape Cod, far from Manhattan, distant from San Francisco’s Nob Hill, miles from LA, Sanibel Island, Florida, or Reykjavik, Iceland  felt natural. Just me, music , and my unpretentious car.

The incredible sound of music played slow…………………………one of life’s secret treasures and pleasures.

Brendan Ben Feeney

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