Vulnerability, Music and The Great Gatsby

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Vulnerability is irresistible. I went to see the Great Gatsby a couple of nights ago and now I am obsessed! Not only was the cinematography lush, vibrant and multi-layered, but the music was chosen with such precision that it should be named as best supporting role! The soundtrack of the movie has become as talked about as the acting itself. The songs and their placement enhanced every single scene. Even though the story was set in the roaring 1920’s, the conflicts and hopes of the characters are timeless and that is why the modern music makes such a contribution to the mood. Rather than choose music with a retro style, Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby chose the songs on the soundtrack based on the feeling, not the era. The song choices so perfectly linked that when heard outside of the theater, they still evoke the feelings from the scene.  The acting by Leonardo DiCaprio was absurdly good. He transformed a scene with the slightest creasing of his brow, a deep sigh, a pause. Jay Gatsby is driven, patient and at times over the top with his need to create his perfect life. The most irresistible thing about the movie is the vulnerability that is shown in Jay Gatsby’s character, a man of great success and influence but incomplete… searching to recapture lost love and friendship. This vulnerability is how we get vested in his success and in his human-ness, we find ourselves rooting for him to have it all in the end. I don’t want to go back and retell the story because you just have to go see this movie for yourself. This modern and edgy interpretation is not your high school book version of The Great Gatsby! Treat yourself to a superb, albeit fantastical version of one of the most famous stories of the drama and intrigue of the life in excess during the 1920’s… and then hurry and download the soundtrack!

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Music is the Soudtrack of My Life

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So, last night I watched the Grammy awards and let me say, I. LOVE. MUSIC! I know that it has been said that your sense of smell can evoke the most powerful memories of a person or an event or a feeling– but in my world, music is my most powerful flashback in time. I have memories all tied up in music and tied to all different kinds of music too. Some songs that come to mind are:

Sitting in circle time in nursery school on our own little square pieces of rugs, singing “The Itsy-Bitsy Spider”.

Crisp fall days swinging in the back yard with my sister, sitting “spider style” singing “Oh ho ho, It’s Magic You Know…Never Believe It’s Not So…” at the top of our lungs with the sun smiling down on us.

My very first live concert, The Carpenters, “Top of the World Looking Down on Creation…”

The last song at our high school dances, wanting it to last forever with Journey-”Open Arms”, (thank goodness that Stairway To Heaven was on its way out as the last dance by the time I logged into my memory bank ;)).

Listening to any and every U2 song over and over and over again as they fueled college-age dreams of creating a better world.

My first dance as a married woman to Tony Bennet’s, “Young, Warm and Wonderful” and feeling just that, so wonderful and warm and young!

Singing to my children every night when they were little, all squeaky clean from a bath, feety pajamas, cozy in their warm beds, “You Are My Sunshine…”.

Crying in awe at my uncle’s version of “Ave Maria” every single time he sings it.

Watching my daughter perform her very first solo as Clara to Tchaikovsky in the “Nutcracker Suite”.

Listening to my son play his first song on his new piano a few weeks ago, “Skyfall” by Adele.

And the list goes on…

Music is the backdrop to snapshots of so many memories. The thing that amazes me is how we can all hear a song and feel that sense of connection with it, but all of us for different reasons! How awesome that we can all watch the Grammy awards from different parts of the country and be moved by the music that stirs in our very own soul. Whether it’s sitting in your childhood bedroom, pressing rewind & then play to hear your favorite song on your tape player, or standing at a concert, hands in the air, heart lifted high, singing with a zillion other people sharing the same magical moment, music has spoken to your heart. Quiet, loud, fast and slow–Some days it comforts you, some days it hopes with you, cries with you and celebrates with you. Sometimes you remember it with your “firsts”, and sometimes you hold it as you remember your “lasts”. Today, I am thankful for the gift of music and the journeys I have taken with it throughout my life. Which songs are creating the soundtrack to your life? Are you remembering a person, a time, a feeling? Find the song of your soul right now, unwrap the gift, and take a minute to crank it up! Ho, Hey everybody!!