On the 24th April, I took my mum to watch the John Williams Extravaganza SSO concert. My mum has loved orchestra music for years, and it was she who got me interested in watching a live performance of the SSO at the Victoria Concert Hall about twenty years ago. It felt good to relive that experience years later.
We all know that Episode VII is coming. It is so huge in fact, that people often forget that Jurassic World precedes it by about six months.
Both of these movie franchises feature the music of John Williams, surely one of the most iconic composers of our time. The attitude of highbrow snobs aside, popular music does move and does involve real knowledge and artistry, and as such I have always been able to enjoy it for its own sake.
Add to that the purpose of movie soundtracks, which is to rekindle the feelings we had not just of the movie itself, but also memories of when we watched it, who we watched it with, and why that might have been special. First date, anybody?
Short Take: Living Life Lessons
Every day, when I walk to the bus interchange on the way home, I’ll cross the road from Northpoint Mall. And on the other side, there is an old man, perhaps 70 years of age, playing the erhu, a beautiful and melodious Chinese instrument capable of producing the most moving and soulful tunes.
The erhu (二胡) is not an easy instrument to play. It takes patience, determination, and if you’re serious about it, lessons. In the olden days, most people would seek out an erhu master as teacher and mentor, and I’m guessing that’s what this elderly man must have done, so many years ago.
I can’t help but think:
What was his history?
What did he aspire to be when he was a young boy?
What hopes did he have?
What goals did he want to achieve with his music?
What was the future he saw for himself?
And inevitably: Did he ever in his youngest dreams, envision that he would be playing by the roadside as an old man, for a few coins each day, to earn a living?