Monday, August 8, 2011

So Beautiful


This post is a bit long, but I hope it's one of my best.

By now y'all know that not only do I come from a long genealogy of musicians and music lovers, but that there are certain times in my life where particular pieces of music seem to seep into my very blood and I can't help but be moved and stirred from the inside out.  The notes break me down to the very core.  When was the last time you heard a score so beautiful it brought tears to your eyes?  When has the melody reached inside your chest and made you aware that you were simultaneously feeling nearly every emotion namable, and some that you couldn't identify, but nonetheless feeling?  Dramatic?  Yes, absolutely.  That's exactly the point.

By now, most of us who have grown up with the Harry Potter phenomenon have seen the films through to completion and the epic adventure of The Boy Who Lived has come full circle.  I say "grown up with" even though I was 16 when the first book was published, because according to the book timeline, Harry is a year older than me (born in 1980).  {The timeline is it's own complete post in the future, now that I really think on it...}  But back to the music-

The original "Hedwig's Theme" by John Williams has always enchanted me.  I bought the soundtrack to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone back when the film was first released (2001). However, with the soundtracks of the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy competing for my attention (among others), and Potter soundtrack after Potter soundtrack being released with each film (at $15-$20 each, this becomes an expensive habit!), I more or less lost interest in the music of Harry Potter other than the emotional value the scores added when I re-watched the films.  I vaguely remember that the opening soprano notes and ascending strings of HP & The Half Blood Prince (a theme carried out later in the film with Dumbledore's death) caught my attention and I almost purchased that score but then didn't.  (Lack of disposable resources; refer to explanation above.)  At this point, the 3rd Pirates film (At World's End) had beaten out everything else to become my most played film score.  Until now.

I knew from the book what awaited in the final film of the Harry Potter series.  I knew that many of the characters I had grown to love would die.  I remembered the tears I shed when Dobby died in Deathly Hallows Part 1.  But still, as we left for the theater I thought, "I'll probably shed a few tears when this, this and this happens.  Meh, these couple of tissues will be plenty."  Pfft.  Whatever, Jen.  Nothing prepared me for what I was hearing and, consequently, feeling.  I didn't cry.  I didn't sniffle.  Oh, no.  I BAWLED MY EYES OUT like a heartbroken baby.  I tried to be considerate of other people in the theater.  Only, as I took small, deep and even breaths to calm down and stay quiet, that's when I realized that everyone else was doing the same thing.  It wasn't just the content of what we were seeing with our eyes.  It was the score under it, telling our hearts what to feel and how strongly we should be feeling it.  If love is the most powerful thing on earth, I attest here and now that music is a close, close second.

It took me 4 or 5 times of hearing it through (and really, if I could post the entire score I would) to find the track that affected me the most and earned the top spot on my current playlist.  In the end, it was a tie between two tracks that carry the same theme.  It's the essence of Hogwarts itself, and all of the characters in it, fighting with everything they have to save who and what they love.  But it extends past the entire Harry Potter world that it was written for and branches into anything and everything else it can reach.  This is the power of music, and I am so grateful to be allowed to hear, feel, experience and appreciate it.  Enjoy.

Track 9- Statues

Track 15- Courtyard Apocalypse

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