In a scene from "Remains of the Day":

A lady servant (single) has fallen in love with the head servant (Anthony Hopkins, the perfect servant, seemingly married to his job).  She corners him in his room, where he is reading a book.  She snatches the book out of his hands, and discovers it is a romance novel.  Hoping to find a romantic underneath his official manner, she asks him "why do you read this?".  He answers, matter-of-factly, "to increase my knowledge of customs and command of the Eng-lissch* language (*there is no way, using Roman letters, for an American to reproduce the way an Englishman pronounces the word 'English') (*One of my profs, Dr. Peter Racine Fricker, said, 'I am so English I can barely talk [tauwhlk]!)


Movies are full of great music, and my wife, who makes crocheted blankets and has great curiosity, buys videos of all sorts, which I hear daily.  I have no idea how any of these movies begin, because I am gradually drawn in by the music.  The music, besides just sitting in my head being good, turns on my creative genes.  Thus, the theme from "Captain Skyhawk" bobs up in fragments in an Easter drama, etc.  Some music is interdisciplinary;  I turn on Bach when I'm doing artwork, just as Chopin played Bach rather than practice for a concert, for "it gives me ideas."  The Bible provides its own music between the lines, as does Van Gogh or a walk on the beach (ever walked on the beach without music paper in your pocket, and an idea came up?  Arrghh!)


What turns you on?  What feeds your soul?  What brings you out of your own little music box?  Whose music changed your life?  Any favorite artists who are not merely good, but they motivate or bring a special richness to your heart and vigor to your spirit?

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First - coffee turns me on. Coffee and Indian food - but not at the same time.


Who's music has touched me? Pink Floyd, Mark Knopfler, The Band, The Staples, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, Isaac Albeniz, JS, not any Christian musicians there yet. I'm looking for them. They're out there somewhere, but it's hard to hold a candle to the ones I just mentioned.

Ooooh, Albeniz.  Yes.
As recorded by John Williams or Manuel Barrueco or Alicia de Larrocha - all different, all good. Williams is perhaps the most impressive.

I just youtubed Williams doing "Asturia", and a Bach prelude and fugue.  I would like, I think, a six months sabbatical to a desert island with a boxful of batteries, a player and headsets, a boxful of discs of some of these amazing guitarists, a boxful of peanut butter and crackers, and my good wife.  With those, I might just be perfectly content.  And the six months might stretch into a year. 

Thank you for the recommendation.

A Bob's Big Boy Chili Tamale washed down with coffee produced a nightmare in which I was on an operating table, my stomach opened up and waiting for the surgeons.  Man, that chili tamale was good~~<:-)

My list is also long on abstract-music composers of unorthodox faith, with the exception of Bach -- but even there the piece that floats my boat the highest is the B minor mass (yes, a Catholic Latin mass by a guy who owned the entire works of Luther). 

Part of my reason for floating this question is the matter of art which stimulates my thinking towards God is often produced by people the church deemed off-whacky (or they simply were off-whacky), or whose imaginative lifestyle rivaled their imaginative art -- for instance Tolstoy, whose novels drew millions to Christ, even in Soviet Russia, or Stravinsky or Wagner, who had some serious character problems. 

I've sometimes wondered if I'm a secret heretic for allowing myself to be inundated with the music of misfits and quasi-Christians, why I'd rather listen to Joni Mitchell sing about seagulls than Anita Bryant sing about anything.

Keep those comments coming, folks.

I just YouTubed my first Pink Floyd.  Remarkable.  Intense.  "Another brick in the wall" makes our schoolkid parody "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the burning of the school" seem like a Sunday School picnic!  This discussion has become a gold mine for me of interesting and inspiring music references.  Now on to Mark Knopfler et al -- thanks for your post!

It never ceases to have an impact on me when Glen Miller hits on that 'sound'. I can remember watching the Glen Miller story as a little child and felt something then and that same feeling is still there after all these years when I watch that movie. The same can be said of other pieces of music too, no particular artist or style, there's just something about a certain piece of music (it could only be a tiny part of a verse) that can literally send shivers up and down your spine.


Worship music very rarely does that for me, but one jumps out at me. It is on a crackly old casette from the Toronto Blessing many years ago, and on it they are singing the old hymn 'Holy, Holy, Holy'. At the end there is rapturous applause which goes on for ages, and the guy in the band says 'For You Lord'. I could cry just thinking about it.

My roomie in the military got me on to Glenn Miller.  He used it to fall asleep happy.  There he was, snoring, with me, the musician, record still revolving on the turntable, foot tapping, not desiring to ruin it by lifting the needle.

A number of our responses (and my own starting comments) show input from outside-the-church.  Though I do believe we should be creating music that is superb and wonderful and turns people Christward, many worship songs simply are there to do the part of helping us to sing God's praises...

...ahh, but when I'm working on a worship song, and we are planting it by singing it weeks in a row, the thing begins to dominate my head, I hear it everywhere, and it seems for that time to be the most wonderful musical thing on earth.



What music? None these days do all those things. Music is allegorical to me - it can tell the story of the reality but it's not the reality itself. Some music makes me want to get up and make music, but often that's because it makes me want to hear something that goes as I feel it should, rather than the way it was played. If find far more often than these days it is only emotionally charged music that works for me, and cool and careful music or precise and professional music can only function as wallpaper.


There's a Christian CD I have where the words of the songs are repetitive and not particularly inspirational or containing deep theological content. However the energy of the band and the strength of emotion from the singers can cause my own emotions to boil up and pour out.
I was talking with my pastor the other day, an intellectual whose office is floor-to-ceiling books, and I don't mean the Mitford series.  I was discussing choir -- working on getting good pronunciation that communicates the meaning.  He responded by saying that he doesn't really hear the wordsw, or if he does, he turns them off in his head to listen to the music -- for him, the emotion of the music is its primary value.  Curiously, I found myself agreeing (I have a hard time hearing words, anyway, because I am always listening to the instruments).  Curiously also, we both love Bach, and both consider his music to be primarily and intensely emotionally charged (for instance, his "Cum Spiritu Sanctu" from the B Minor mass puts me dancing all over the room).  Others seem to hear order, balance and technique in the same music.  This makes me wonder how much of music is the presentation, how much the music itself, and how much the listener?

Queen, Eddie Van Halen, Dream Theater, Muse, Iona, Marty Friedman, John Williams, Hans Zimmer - inspirational!

And most English people don't talk how Americans perceive - ie: Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins or Prince William ha ha!

Dr. Fricker really did talk "that way" (I also met a Frenchman once who sounded exactly like Clouseau -- it was really hard to hold conversation with a straight face).

I presume (presyume) the English have fun with the way Americans talk -- what does a typical parody sound like?  Texans?  Brooklynese?  Canton, Ohio?  Telemarketers? Californians?  (when I lived in Chicago, I wanted never to move to California because the only person I knew from there was a lady who said "to-MAH-to").


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