I enjoy reading. I enjoy music. Both are gifts that teach, entertain and give me great satisfaction. Imagine my delight when I marry the two by using YouTube videos of artists like Andrea Bocelli, the three young voices of IL VOLO, and other classic artists such as Hauser & Petrit Ceku performing Concierto de Aranjuez with a full symphonic orchestra that fills my ears with a background that is not only pleasing but one with a rhythm that helps me glide through the prose of a Hemingway.
What I found to my surprise is that once you pick an artist, YouTube will surround that artist with similar groups performing songs that have great emotion and searing notes that often end in a crescendo. You need do nothing when it comes to the selection process. Often, the classical pieces are combined with what we call “golden oldies” in the rock world as James Taylor, Eric Clapton, Simon & Garfunkel, Steve Winwood, Procol Harum and other talented contemporary artists perform tunes that made them famous and burned a golden spot in our psyche.
Music can move us to tears or make us smile with emotion because often a song stirs within us a memory that elicits a brief reprise of when we fell in love, when we welcomed a child into the world, when we felt the sting of someone slipping away from us or when we conquered the impossible…or so we thought – prior to taking a chance – on LIFE and LIVING, making every tick of the odometer of our existence count.
And if you’re reading to a moonlight serenade that opens the stars above to a world filled with travel, new adventures, and perhaps a tale that is filled with monsters, human or otherwise that help us appreciate and flex our imaginations. Books have often taken me to ports of the world where I have never been and honestly, probably never will be physically but mentally I can see that striped Bengal tiger about to pounce on my protagonist who unlike me the reader, can see it coming.
To all the artists who make such sweet music, I want to thank you for making my adventures roaming through the printed words that come alive the way the dust kicks up from a column of soldiers traveling down a road in the Marne on the Western Front in a time before my time, in a world where bullets flied making my Jake Barnes impotent and longing for the woman he loved as the sun rose and set on his way home.
And music just makes all those stories of life and death, years before the mast and killer angels that much more enjoyable, since life sometimes is anything but that. Artists GO DO GOOD in a way that is addicting to someone who enjoys literature and can use a small vacation when it’s about to rain as the Wichita Lineman is very much on my mind.
Volare! Volare! Volare! Time to fly back to the book I put down to write this, but I’m sure you’ll excuse me because reading and music are a joy worth singing about…or as my YouTube video notes – Cantare – cantare! Oh – oh – oh -oh – for sure!
William Natale is the author of the children’s book, Woolly Wurm; “1968 – A Story As Relevant Today As It Was Then” (based on a true story about two white teens who wind up working in an all-black factory immediately following the assassination of Dr. MLK; and The Resurrection of Boraichee (a story described quirky and clever with a bit of reincarnation as a DOG serves as the narrator about a family suffering from the opioid epidemic). All but the children’s book can be found on Amazon/KINDLE.