Last night Kathy and I went to the Lyric Theater in beautiful downtown Stuart.
The Lyric is about 100 years old and some of the patrons can attest to that. It is in a word unique and the restoration bespeaks a labor of love.
Tonight’s show/concert was one of many throughout the season. We usually sign up for four or five of them. The main event was a fellow by the name of Arthur Migliazza. Obviously not a stage name. His forte was boogie woogie / ragtime / eight to the bar, piano playing. Looking forward to being entertained I became entranced.
Whether it is Scott Joplin, Fats Domino, Earl “Fatha” Hines or Jerry Lee Lewis we have all heard this toe tapping, foot stomping music at sometime in our lives. It evolved from negro blues bands in the late 1800’s and found its voice and acceptance in the Roaring 20’s. It gets to you and I think that is why the word “visceral” was invented.
The man is a magician. His sleight of hand includes chords to the left and melody on the right while pounding the pedals with one foot and keeping time with the other. Oh, and of course he threw in soulful vocal renditions of some classics. Mind blowing. I can’t walk and chew gum at the same time.
As I listened, I slipped into a bit of reverie. I love music of all sorts. I started to go through the genres that I have experienced and they ran the gamut. My teens were in the
Doo Wop era. You went from the frenetic twist to hand holding submarine watching slow dances. A girl asked me in the fifth grade if I wanted to participate in the latter sport and I didn’t have a clue. I learned fast.
College brought the Four Tops,Beatles, Stones and an introduction to dixieland jazz. Conden’s and Jimmy Ryan’s in NYC were the classrooms and at least I was a good student at something. Even a trip to DAR Hall in DC to hear Ferde Grofe’s Grand Canyon Suite gave a little class to my repertoire.
I won’t bore you with a recitation of the ensuing eras but it fascinates me how music has affected so much of my life. Invariably in the car or at home I tune into something and tune out our crazy world. While driving if I get Bob Seger and the Silver Band on, I hit max on my Bose car system until I see the side windows pulsate and the whompa, whompa of the bass as it gets to your innards. People might regard me at some kind of idiot from the hood. And for awhile I am.
I am a scientific type so I started researching why this feels so good. Seems our desire for food, sex and sleep is based on a survival thing. In your pursuit of the aforementioned your brain releases dopamine. A funny thing happened on the way to the concert hall. Music though not necessary to exist releases the same little hormone. It is called emotional arousal. And all this time you thought it was puberty.
Scientists call this an abstract reward and not a tangible one. Music brings back memories both good and bad and that’s okay. If I listen to the Music of the Night from The Phantom or an aria from Pavarotti I know when the best part is coming and I love it. Ditto Hey Jude or Chicago doing Getting Stronger Every Day. How about Mick Fleetwood pounding away in Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow? All symptoms of a misspent youth but who cares?
For the most part all this good stuff costs nothing. Pandora is free and you only get one ad every fifteen minutes. Your car radio dial is chock a block with everything you need. The best part is no one telling you how to do it or about what you just heard. Beauty is in the mind of the beholder.
So sometime today or tomorrow just sit back and listen. Get that dopamine going as if it was crack cocaine. Sing in the shower or even out the car window. Far from the madding crowd. It’s your own little world. Enjoy it!
Ted The Great
There are approximately 97 million songs in existence. Around 1 million new ones come out each year. Pandora is the result of a music genome project and categorizes them by style, musician, or era. I have a lot of listening to do.
Singing in the shower works because the tiles do not absorb sound but reflect it. The notes bounce off the walls and you actually sound better. Kind of like the reverb button on your old car radio.
A new study from the University of London’s Institute of Education has found that exposing children to classical music can aid in developing better concentration levels, self-discipline and social skills.
The music business generated $43 billion in revenue in 2017. That could build the Wall. Sadly, the artists who wrote and performed the grist for that mill received only 12% of the take.