Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The Butterfly Hours Memoir Project: MUSIC

For 2019 I'm running a year-long series on my blog in which I share my responses to the writing assignment prompts found in THE BUTTERLY HOURS by Patty Dann.

I welcome you to join me, if you like! I've divided the prompts by month, and the plan is to respond to 3 (or so) a week. For some of these I may write poems, for others prose. The important thing is to mine my memory. Who knows where this exploration will lead?

For links to the prompts I've written on so far this year, please click on The Butterfly Hours tab above. 

This month's prompts include: mail, moon, mouse, moving, museum, music, music lesson, name, necklace, neighbor, nightgown.


This prompt is coming a day after I listened to Matthew Winner's latest Children's Book Podcast about OPERATIC by Kyo Maclear, illustrations by Byron Eggenschwiler– which, among other things talks about “the soundtrack of our lives.” So this has been on my mind!

Music has always been a vital part of my life. From my father singing to me "Good Night Irene" or the family listening to the Goofy Gold albums (which contains some really racist songs)... Most memorable from my childhood, probably, are church hymns -- “The Servant Song” still has the power to complete wreck me. Also, church musicals: THE MUSIC MACHINE or DOWN BY THE CREEKBANK. I can remember blasting the stereo with this “Good Morning” song from BULLFROGS AND BUTTERFLIES to wake my parents on Saturday mornings. My mother's favorites like "Amazing Grace" and  “Morning Has Broken” were big influences. She was also a big fan of my piano recital song “Homecoming” by Hagood Hardy (which I can still play from memory). Then there were the boys in 8th grade singing to me "Come On, Irene" to the tune of "Come On, Eileen" and my early teen obsessions with Prince. :) Also Christian artists like Carmen, Sandy Patti, Amy Grant... When I was a senior in high school “The Time of Our Lives” from DIRTY DANCING was the prom theme. Later, songs from PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, movie soundtracks... when I met Paul “Where've You Been” by Kathy Mattea (one of the sweetest love songs ever). How we had the harpist play “Ode to Joy” instead of the traditional wedding march might show my love of Beethoven's Ninth. (This love also shows up in one of my 2020 books... more on this soon!)

These days, I love the music my son Eric makes and also my Spotify playlists. Paul and I love going to concerts together -- I recently shared about Bob Seger. Also, I'm into Bach's cello suites and whatever song I happen to be learning on the cello at the moment... today, Bach's Fugue in C, for our summer string orchestra concert (coming up in just a few weeks)! This post really could be endless!

And, this year, as part of my daily reading, I picked up YEAR OF WONDER by Clemency Burton-Hill. The July 8 piece is Joplin's “Gladiolus Rag,” which is new to me. I am learning so much about composers, and music, and also finding new favorites along the way.

In my next Butterfly Hours post, I will turn this lens to music lessons, of which I've had a few -- but not nearly enough. :)

1 comment:

  1. It's fun to hear your music memories & what's happening now, too, Irene. Hearing about your wedding celebrated with Ode to Joy is very special.


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