Posts Tagged ‘TV’

No Ordinary Vamp

Monday, January 24th, ©2011 Marcus Brooks

Out of curiosity, I caught last week’s episode of No Ordinary Family on ABC. On the whole, it doesn’t offer much that I haven’t seen on TV before, but then I’ve been watching TV for a long, long time.

I was pleased, however, to hear the musical vamp under the requisite hostage scene, which quoted Beethoven’s 7th symphony, 2nd movement; not the whole thing, mind you, just enough to recognize.

Dads Karlson Hi-Fi speaker; has a 15-inch tri-axial driver.

Dad's Karlson Hi-Fi speaker enclosure; has a 15-inch tri-axial driver.

Beethoven’s 7th was about my favorite piece of music when I was in high school. (Yeah, I was that kid.) Listen to the 2nd movement sometime for a little sympathy when you’re down. (Alas, the version linked by Wikipedia is disappointing.) Then let it roll to the 3rd movement for a pick-me-up. Shoot; listen to the whole symphony to get it all in context.

I grew up with classical music, mostly because my dad had lots of classical records for his Hi-Fi set. When I started listening it was actually stereo, but he started with mono Hi-Fi before stereo came in. That’s why his speakers didn’t match. He’d bought a big Karlson (not Carlsson) speaker, but only the one. He found another, home-built one decades later, but the original was much better made so they don’t really match.

My whole family has been musical. I don’t remember mom or dad actually playing, but my siblings (all older) all played one instrument or another with more or less success. My brothers and their friends actually cut a 45-rpm single once—both sides; I think 100 were pressed. Randy’s BA in music included studies in Ethno-musicology (I kid you not). I grew up listening to everything from Pete Fountain to Balinese monkey chants.

When the time came, I tried learning music too; without success. Nobody noticed at the time, but I had ADHD (still do, diagnosed in my 40s). Trombone practice never triggered hyperfocus for me the way, say, reading and writing do. I faked it through 6th grade and then gave up.

But I have no trouble listening to music. Classical and baroque works are still my favorites (ah, Bach!), but sometimes a popular album catches my fancy (like Bjork’s Telegram, or the Dixie Chicks’ Home). My musical experience is broad enough I can listen to P. D. Q. Bach and get most of the jokes.

It may be odd, but sometimes I’ll re-read or even think of a book, and in my mind I’ll hear the music that was playing when I first read it. Other times I’ll just have a mental soundtrack playing as I work. My brain can replay the whole orchestration for some pieces, all the instruments, if I’ve really listened to it before. Sadly (for me, not bystanders), if I try to whistle along with my mental music I usually lose the tune after a few notes.

Now that I think about it, it seems my mental soundtrack has been quiet lately. I should fire up iTunes and play some of my library!