4.28.2010

Lachrimae listening

It's amazing how music can stir up memories and emotions, especially when a tune that's over 300 years older than me can be an important part of my past and still meaningful to me today! When I was studying classical music in college, I learned about John Downland (a composer from Shakespeare's time) and soon ended up buying a few CDs of his works. The piece I fell in love with is his Lachrimae (specifically the Lachrimae Antiquae Novae), written in 1604, and I found myself listening to it over and over again during introspective times. I still have this recording in my iTunes library today, and every now and then it will come up in a shuffle and instantly transport me to those moments in the past. I remember playing it at midnight on New Year's Eve more than once, writing in my journal by candlelight and thinking about the year to come. I remember listening to it by my fireplace in Tulsa, both when I needed to calm down and also when I was perfectly content with life. Even today when I need a moment to completely relax my mind and contemplate life, this is the music I want to hear. Something about its melody and simple orchestration (lute and violins) sounds both melancholy and yet hopeful! John Dowland's Lachrimae has definitely had a profound effect on me over the years, and I'm sure I'll listen to it countless times more.