Monday 16 June 2014

What's Occurring?

I've just posted a couple of CD reviews on the Reviews Page. These are of symphonies, one by Erno Dohnanyi, the 'last of the great romantic symphonists' and Ernest Bloch, whose music I now rate highly having heard and loved his E Flat major Symphony. Check them out.

    On a personal note, I've been enjoying learning about the benefits of music making for the elderly and particularly for those with dementia and other associated conditions. Our knowledge about the effect that music has on the brain by providing positive stimulation is increasing, particularly in the realm of recall and memory.  More than this, its effect on the whole integrity of brain function and self-awareness is remarkable and significant. I've been witnessing the results in a small way and want to pursue this path further with my own music making.

    I've also been preoccupied with my musical 'Ramblings' along Offa's Dyke. When I set off at the beginning of this project, I really wondered what on earth I was doing!  Now, having completed three of the fifteen walks, I know. The pleasure and stimulation that they have brought was quite unpredicted. To chat about music at some length while rambling through some of our most beautiful countryside is a combination that works superbly.

    On the most recent, the subject was 'harmony'. The walk was along a ridge running the length of the Black Mountains from Pandy to Hay-on-Wye. All the way we were accompanied by skylarks singing at full voice. I don't just mean the odd one or two here and there, but dozens of them all the way along an eleven-mile stretch. Sometimes we could hear three or four at a time, but always as we left the territory of one, another would take over and pour its glorious song down over our heads. If that wasn't a remarkable lesson in the art and practice of harmony and melody, I don't know what is.

Pics of the walks which will continue over the summer, info. about them and the musical topics are at 'Ramblings About Music'.