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Written by: Mary Ann Winters
Date: April 19, 2016

Flickr:  Photo by Ann  Larie Valentine

Flickr: Photo by Ann Larie Valentine

Tapestry…….that one word evokes young emotions for me and I yearn to hear Carole King’s voice singing her lyrics that still speak to my heart.   She sings, “I Feel the Earth Move”; and I’m back on the dance floor in my palazzo pants and fringed shawl; it’s 1971 and I’m transported into her world.

Influencing our moods, the music in our lives may be intentionally chosen.  For instance, my adult children will tell you how they were subjected to loud music from our stereo system when they were small. My housecleaning attempts were always accompanied by my favorites blasting through the amazing hi-tech surround sound. Album covers of The Mama’s and the Papas, Barry Manilow or the Four Seasons would litter the floor in front of the turn table as I danced happily through an otherwise mundane day.

As my daughters grew, my music appreciation expanded to include Andrea Bocelli and Josh Groban.  Andrea’s Romanza and Sogno Albums are deeply rich, passionate and boldly uplifting. Though most of the songs are in Italian, foreign to me, I feel his music down to my toes and am stirred.  I also find his newer music to be perfection, but those 2 earlier CD’s are my go to favorites.  Then what about Josh and his inspiring precious music? When I heard his voice on an awards show, I yearned for his first album release and I continue to savor his gift often today.  In 2001 Stephen Spielberg released his movie, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, and Josh Groban sang one of the songs,  “For Always”.   That lingering melody with his voice…………Wow.  Of course, both these artists continue to entertain and delight us with new music and unique talent. They are timeless for me.

When facing a breast cancer scare in my late 40’s, Barbara Streisand’s Higher Ground CD followed me everywhere for several weeks. There was no IPod then; so I would sit in the hospital parking lot absorbing the comforting words of her music from my car radio, building my courage to open the car door and go forth.

My typical source for music while I write is WOSU’s Classical Radio Station or a classical CD playing softly in the background; not enough to distract and gentle enough to relax me into my writer’s mode.  I once read that classical music can enhance intelligence in babies.  I remain hopeful that enhancement might also apply in the Next Avenue of my life.

Norah Jones and Michael Buble’ are a joy when my heart is full of love, but those two are killers if my “aloneness” is front and center.  That’s when I listen to Alan Jackson’s Precious Memories CD and find the comfort I can always rely on in religious hymns. Accompanied only by his guitar, there is a purity in the sound.

I recently read an article about Rita Wilson’s new CD, and thanks to my friends at Amazon it was in my hands within a few days.  The cover reminds me of those Carole King days; Rita’s long hair is flowing with freedom, she’s beautiful and her moves are fluid in the rich velvet pant suit. That blissful smile says she’s living her dream.  And that’s just the cover. She’s a soulful songwriter and performer, lovely.

Music has provided so much comfort for me over the years.  So, along with a sympathy or get well card to a friend or family, I often include a CD of soothing music.

Music………….. Pachelbel’s Canon, my daughter playing her violin, a 45 record from the 50’s, Bach, Beethoven, Olivia Newton John, Jennifer Nettles.  All that and more to come. Life is good.