It’s odd when you hear a piece of music and, although you have never heard it before, you seem to know it, it seems to be far more familiar than is at all possible. To put it another way, if you were able to compose and perform music in the the same idiom, this would be it. If I can go out on a limb and risk some of the more cynical among you who might happen to be reading this thinking me as the pretentious pillock you always suspected I was, I would say that the music ‘speaks to me’. It’s uncannily as though it were my music.
I have had that sensation several times over the past years, and it happened again a while ago with a piano sonata by Scarlatti (Domenico - there seems to be a whole tribe of them, his dad, his granddad, his brother, two uncles, a chap down the road, old Guiseppe who used to run the bar and compose in his spare time, loads of them, but the one I am referring to his Domenico). The piece is K466 in F minor. I was idly listening to Radio 3 one Saturday morning (and having just written that, I’m beginning to wonder whether one really can ‘idly’ listen to the radio, but there you go) and it was played by some Japanese pianist or other. And it was as though I had known the piece all my life. I ‘understood’ it immediately. It was as though I had composed it. It seemed to describe me and what I felt.
Then there is the music of David Fuiczynski. Same story. I first heard his playing when I bought my first (or second, I can’t remember) MP3 player and with it came a voucher for 20 free downloads. I opted for some jazz guitar and Mr Fiuczynski was one of those playing. And it has to be said that the piece he played was utterly atypical of the the work I later came to know. But on the strength of that one track, I looked him up and, on spec, bought an album called Amandala and exactly the same thing happened: if I were a good guitarists that was exactly the kind of music I would like to create. (As far as I am concerned, Fiuczynski’s music is indefinable - not jazz, not rock, simply itself.)
Most recently it has happened with a composer called Kenneth Leighton. I really can’t remember where I was or how I came to hear it, but I heard a piece by him on Radio 3 and I was hooked. So far I have bought his second and third symphonies.
Similarly, but not quite, is a piece by jazz pianist and composer Bill Evans called Young And Foolish. There is something about it which goes right deep inside me and then towards the end seems to touch a part of me which I feel no one had ever seen for the simple reason that I have tried not to let anyone see it. Sounds like a load of wank, I know, but what the hell.
Here are four pieces, one by each of the above. First up is the piano sonata K466 in F minor by Scarlatti. If it doesn’t sound too daft, I should like this piece played at my funeral.
Then there is a piece by David Fiuczynski. Given his varied output, all I can do is simply choose one of the many pieces by him I have on iTunes, and one of the main reasons I choose this is rather banal: it’s not too long and a good-quality Quick Time movie of it would not be too big to upload.
Here is the fifth movement of the Symphony No 2 by Kenneth Leighton. There is just something about this music I - ahem - adore. Sorry, for that, but that’s how I feel. And it shouldn’t be Sarah Cox, but Sarah Fox. I didn’t realise until a few seconds ago while listening to the piece once it was here on the blog and it’s too bloody late to do anything about it. Well, actually, it’s not too late - I could go back to the original iMovie movie, correct it, re-save the Quick Time movie, upload it again and get it all square but, dear reader, I at this point I really can’t be fucking arsed (and if there are any virgins reading this, make that bloody arsed. Can’t upset people, can I?) So an apology to Sarah Fox will have to do, though I doubt she will ever find her way here. But if you do, Sarah, sorry.
Finally, here is the piece by jazz pianist Bill Evans called Young And Foolish. UPDATE - Feb17, 2013: No it’s not, it’s called Peace Piece. Sorry about that. My mistake. It is also posted on You Tube and some punter called Geoff Rowe put me right. Oh well, lose some, lose some. It is quite simply beautiful, though not exactly in the way you might originally think. I would also like this piece played at my funeral. When I hear it, I feel someone is looking into my soul, especially the discordant bits towards the end. Thing is, that’s me and everyone else who was once young and foolish. More wank, I’m afraid, but there you go.
I trust you like some, perhaps even all of them. If you are interested in other videos, you can find them here.Oh, and as I have gone out on a limb in this entry and laid myself wide open to ridicule in some of my descriptions, I might as well add that apart from the Scarlatti sonata and the Bill Evans track a third piece I should like played at my funeral is Mozart’s Symphony no 41, and if time is a little short and the undertakers are getting restless to get me down under sooner rather than later so they can bugger off and get home before dark, I should at least like that symphony’s last movement played.