Driving to work this morning, I heard a piece by composer Aaron Copeland that was new to me. I’ve always had a wide-open space in my heart for Copeland, who along with George Gershwin, represents in my mind the quintessential American spirit. In contrast to Gershwin’s jazzy style, sometimes frenzied, sometimes languid, Copeland’s style always spoke to me of endless spaces, crisps lines, and the often-tense blending of harmonies.
It was an unusual start to the day, considering where I’d been over the past few days. The tenderness of the song reached out to me, lifting me from this dark place that’s been my home recently. Maybe it’s because when I hear Aaron Copeland’s music, my mind immediately visualizes the stunning beauty of the American Southwest, particularly the home of my soul, Arizona.
One of the biggest challenges, especially in times of stress, is to maintain an openness of soul. When times are difficult, my first reaction is to curl inward, clutching my life into a tight fetal position in order to protect myself from the harsh and painful elements all around. For a highly empathic person, I’ve never had great psychic shields.
The music of Copeland is like a shield around me, pristine and beautiful and big and open, creating a buffer space where my soul can rest and rejuvenate. This makes sense, psychically, if you consider we are all created of energy. Music, in its highest form, eases our energy into balance, softens our jagged lines, and soothes us in a way few other things can.
I week or so ago, I decided to create a playlist of all the songs I’d recommended as background music on this blog. The official playlist is almost exclusively instrumental. I’ve also created a supplemental playlist featuring more upbeat, popular music. I’ll keep adding to it as I go along. I hope you enjoy them both, and that the songs bring as much peace and joy to you as they do to me.
Good night, dear souls.
Background Music: Aaron Copeland- Quiet City (feat. Wynton Marsalis)