Music That Moves ME Memories

Have a musical memory that you’d like to share? Throughout the month we will post listener submitted recollections here and share a few on Maine Public's Facebook page. Send your memory to us at music@mainepublic.org.

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Our listeners’ favorite music recollections:

Music was in the walls of our house. A sunshine warmth, that radiated from the old upright grand piano in the parlor. It would come to life, shining from my mother’s touch on the keys. In the 50’s and early 60’s, the piano still ruled the dominion of our parlor, even overshadowing the black and white television which now shared the room, but still cowered awkwardly in a corner, plotting its time.

My sleek new cell phone arrived and sat on my office desk. To test the sound quality of its speakers, I played Phil Ochs’ “Changes.” This 21st century device magically, on demand played music which transmitted me half way across the country and a half a century ago to college where I met my wife and where we “made out” to this song.

Phil Ochs was the most gentle of the protest singer song writers of the 1960s. His songs were about justice and injustice, about protesting a war which was unwise and like Changes about love.

When I was a grad student in New York, I was interning at Sloan Kettering, a cancer hospital. The nurses referred to me 'a difficult patient', a 'grumpy old man' who was refusing medication and refusing to speak to staff. Integrative medicine interns, especially in music therapy, were often given these referrals.

When you live in Maine year round, the advent of summer can feel interminable. As the anticipation mounts to planning for beach days and excursions around our breathtaking state, I find myself buoyed by the lyrics of David Mallett, Maine's traveling troubadour. His CD, Parallel Lives, accompanies me on car trips as I watch the budding trees and changing light of springtime in Maine.

The music that moves me is the Ralph Vaughan Williams piece "The Lark Ascending." It makes me think of my friend, Madeline. That piece of music for me has come to represent her, light, thin, fragile and yet if
soars.

The date was September 12th, 2001 and I woke up, not to the rumble of the first flight taking off from the jetport that would normally pass over our house in Falmouth. This morning, and for the next few days, there were no flights coming or going anywhere, and so it was eerily silent. It was the day after the worst terrorist attack had been carried out on American soil. My husband and I had just moved into our new home with our two young children.

The year was 1975, I was 20 and on day 5 of an extended bicycle trip through Atlantic Canada.  I was crossing Nova Scotia, and was feeling the aches and pains of long days on my 10-speed, loaded with camping gear and fishing tackle.  My route that afternoon followed the Trans Canada Highway between Truro and New

I discovered the music that moves me during a choral concert tour of Russia and Siberia in 2002. I’m a regular working class guy, a car mechanic from Union, Maine, and for many years I sang with a wonderful community chorus in the mid-coast. Our director, who specializes in Russian choral music, arranged an epic tour throughout much of Russia and Siberia performing Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.

Lindsey’s Dance

I have a lovely story of a group of seventh and eighth graders at Great Salt Bay school in Damariscotta that commissioned a piece of music to honor their lost classmate. They earned the money to pay the composer, met with the composer and refined the music to be their tribute to their fellow band member. They then learned the music and played it without a tear (until it was over).

Fourteen years ago my older brother Steve died. I am one of 5 kids and even though none of us live near one another we are close in the way of large families. And Steve was only in his early 50s; he died unexpectedly of a heart attack — losing him was very painful.

My husband and I were on vacation at the time, cruising on our sailboat. We had just left the Fox Island Thoroughfare and were headed to Deer Isle when we got the radio call from the Coast Guard telling us that there was a family emergency. We headed back to Rockland; I hitched a ride home and drove up to Vermont.

In 2014 I was in a rock band. I remember we were all standing around in the studio after a rehearsal. Someone pulled up a YouTube video and said, “Have you guys heard this?” It was a revised version of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” sung by astronaut Chris Hadfield on-board the International Space Station.

The music that has always followed me most in life has been those songs and albums that can blend right into the world without interrupting it. Music which looks first and foremost to pleasantness and serenity.

Music That Moves ME.

In the months following my return home from Vietnam in the summer of 1969 I found myself increasingly disquieted by the events of the war and, if I may say, by the kind of reception that I think we all received when we got back. slowly, against my will, I became embittered and alienated.

In an effort to understand the war and indeed the way the world worked I decided to go out to the coast and enroll at the University of California at Berkeley and major in International Relations.

My cousin Josh was killed when I was 14, and the song "Psycho Killer" reminds me of him every time I hear it.

This not the kind of song Josh would have liked. Josh exclusively listened to punk and had a ripped Ramones shirt he wore almost every time I saw him.

A series of awful circumstances led to me sitting in a crowded limo with four other teenagers, all pallbearers, our shoulders crammed together, all of us sniffling and silently crying. Our parents were all in separate cars, and all four of us were going through the same oppressive, heavy grief.

As a young man, I had thoughts of making music a career, and there were a lot of singer songwriters in the late 1960’s that inspired me. My wife and I met at the UMO Singers, but when we graduated we both became busy with careers. We weren’t going to have children, but 6 years after marriage changed our minds. We now have 2 wonderful adult children who are great human beings and if I look back on my 66 years of life, though it changed our carefree young adult routines, - bringing our children into this world, was the best thing that  ever has happened to me.

I wrote this song “A Parents Prayer”, and sang it at my son’s christening in 1984. In the early 90’s I recorded the song on a home cassette recorder with my daughter and I speaking during the interlude. My wife had it converted to digital format and I rediscovered it in the last year or 2. With my wife and I both having experienced our own parents' passing, this song now takes on a different perspective. I still think the hopes and sentiment are immortal for parents all around the globe.

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