Thursday, November 03, 2011

The Dungeon of my Black Despair

What is it about Bach and organ music that makes it seems like Halloween? Or is it the tonal shadings and the image of Lon Chaney as The Phantom of the Opera? I don't know, but I bought an album with over 50 Halloween sounding classical pieces, and most of them are written for the organ.

When I think of organ music I think of Bach and church and the holidays, not necessarily Halloween, ghosts, goblins, and darkness. I must be wrong. Okay, I could be wrong.

As I listen to the fugues, cantatas, tocattas, elegies, and requiem masses, I feel a definite stirring of the sublimely dark and other worldly that is just perfect for invoking the spirit of a muse to help me finish my Victorian morality and murder tale. That was the whole point of buying the album, to play while summoning the muse, an invocation to the creative spirit to help me be inspired and creative. The only reason I chose music was because I was asked during an interview what music I listen to while writing. None?!

I decided to shake up the ant farm and give it a whirl, especially since until now I used music to inspire me to clean, making of the chore a dance, a performance. I danced and sang and the house got cleaner. It's an idiosyncrasy, but it works.

So far, except for Night on Bald Mountain, I don't really feel the whole Halloween spirit. Maybe I need to listen to more -- and I will. I think In the Hall of the Mountain King from Peer Gynt is among the selections and that is appropriately spooky, as are The Mephisto Waltz and the Ride of the Valkyrie.  I'm less sure about Carnival of the Animals and a selection from Romeo and Juliet where the Montagues and Capulets fight. The fight would be rather more exciting and not exactly reminiscent of death and ghosts and goblins and all things that go bump in the night behind children's closet doors or under their beds.  Then again, I'm not trying to scare children but journey to the heart of darkness that spawned a serial killer, a man who butchered women, to discover why and what led him to that pass, and why he spurned love and passion and happiness for the pit of hell where his soul becomes trapped. All I'm getting is Lon Chaney at the organ in Phantom of the Opera and church, neither of which really answer my need. I can see I'll have to pare down the list.

In the meantime, I am transported on the rills and white water of classical organ music between the banks of fantasy and darkness and wondering where the journey will lead.

Did I ever mention I once lived next door to Lon Chaney's old house?

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