Music is the rhythm of the soul
Sometimes we take a time out to experience something new. Today was that day for me. Scrolling through my feed, sometime awhile back, I noticed that Houston has a symphony. They play in various locations all over the metro area. When I saw that, my heart started beating fast. In the last couple of years, I've started listening to classical music as a way to relax. When I can't sleep, turn on the classical. Even though there are a variety of beats, the myriad of instruments provides a very soothing beat for my soul. I take a deep breath, close my eyes and allow myself to be transported to another place and time. When I noticed that I was going to be home during the time that the Houston Symphony would be playing Beethoven classics, I jumped to buy tickets. I was able to score an inexpensive ticket for a Sunday matinee'. To say the least the experience was phenomenal. Jones Hall is built for music. At first glance there appeared to be umbrellas hanging from the ceiling, the hexagon shapes of the tiles pulling my focus and energy to my surroundings as a whole. Lights were interspersed throughout the tiles, much like stars. As I looked at the red velvet chairs and the variety of attire worn for an afternoon of beautiful and haunting music, I felt proud for taking the time to do something that would enrich my soul.
When I walked into the hall, an usher scanned my ticket and gave me a book of all the events related to Beethoven and the concerts in March. It was so hard for me to contain my excitement. Not only was I able to experience the music live, reading about the history of the music took the appreciation of the event to a whole new level.
Our concert included Music of Air and Fire by P. Jalbert, Piano Concerto No. 1 in C minor, Opus 35 by Shostakovich and Symphony No 3 in E-flat major, Opus 55 (Eroica) by Beethoven.
Music of Air and Fire by P. Jalbert was the perfect start to the concert. It was a dichotomy between peace and anger — air and fire. I couldn’t keep my eyes focused on any one thing in particular when the music first started and then my attention drifted to the percussion section. To say I was surprised to see such a large number of drums and percussion instruments… well if you had been able to see my bug eyes, they would have told all.
As the music was played I began to feel a real sense of peace come over me. Now was the time, while I sat next to strangers who were all there for the same reason, to close my eyes and just be. Be a part of the music, the flow, the bows on the strings. Portions of the music were rambunctious and loud. Some were epic. Some I even recognized.
From the symphony program, a description of Symphony No. 3 — Begun as a homage to Napoleon, the epic, Eroica contains not only power, but gravity, grandeur and humor. For the basic blonde, I’m not sure about the humor part but I was able to absolutely understand the power.
During this portion of the concert there was a person in the front corner of the front row, who had silver hair that caught my eye, because the light caused it to shine. The individual was so entranced by the music that for minutes, I found myself staring at the intensity with which this person was engrossed in the music. I myself felt my leg shaking and absorbing the sounds through my whole being, but this person was expressing it with their head bobbing and their shoulders moving. They were clearly moved, and their actions moved me.
Turning my focus back towards the stage I noted the horns section. They were playing so intently that one had to keep emptying their horn. (read spit collects there). It was done with such a slight of hand and their head facing forward it was hard to notice what they were doing.
I was far enough away that I couldn’t see anyone’s eyes. But the pure intensity with which the conductor became one with the music was magic. It became obvious very quickly that this wasn’t a job for him but a passion. A passion with which burst from every pore of his being.
If you’re every given the opportunity to try something as beautiful as the symphony. Take that leap of faith. Find the special dress and heels or whatever makes you feel beautiful and go. Just go. Absorb everything from the plush carpets, to the bold chairs, to the stage setting and the intensity with which the instruments are played. Then remember how fortunate you are to have the experience. I’ll do it again. Maybe alone maybe not. But I will be back —said in my best Terminator voice.